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Nigeria, Netherlands agree to deepen trade, investment opportunities

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Nigeria, Netherlands agree to deepen trade, investment opportunities

By Emmanuella Anokam

The NigeriaNetherlands Bilateral Working Group (BWG) highlighted the strategic partnership and continued bilateral relations between Nigeria and the Netherlands to boost trade and investment.

This was jointly agreed upon at the end of the first annual meeting of the Nigeria-Netherlands Bilateral Trade and Investment Working Group on Tuesday in Abuja.

Amb. Samson Itegboje, co-chair of the group, speaking to reporters, noted that as Nigeria is the Netherlands’ biggest trading partner in Africa in 2020, there is a need to strengthen relations.

Itegboje acknowledged the investments of the Dutch Development Bank as well as the projects funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

He said these contribute to better access to finance and development, while providing an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs and green economic growth in Nigeria.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the meeting discussed priority areas for economic collaboration as well as trade and investment opportunities.

Itegboje, also director of the Department of International Organizations, noted priority areas such as agriculture and horticulture; Green economic growth; Life sciences and health, youth employment, entrepreneurship and ICT.

In the context of agriculture and horticulture, he focused on collaborative seed and dairy development programs, the National Livestock Transformation Program (NLTP) and exploration of the ‘technical support for breeding and the rehabilitation of pasture reserves.

“The parties agreed to collaborate on the Nigeria-Netherlands seed partnership, dairy development, export promotion process and capacity for research and knowledge exchange,” he noted.

As part of green economic growth, the Netherlands reaffirmed its commitment to establish a circular business platform in Lagos and to connect Dutch and Nigerian companies in the recycled plastics and solar energy sector.

Other areas of mutual interest covered in the discussion included renewable energy and recycling, circular economy and solar energy to help achieve the climate change mitigation and adaptation goals in the Paris Agreements. .

Issues related to life sciences and health, as well as health insurance plans were also covered.

Regarding youth employment, entrepreneurship and ICT, he noted that parties recognized Dutch initiatives such as Orange Corners Nigeria, Work in Progress as well as support for the Next Economy program of SOS Children’s Villages.

“Nigeria reiterated the need to increase the number of beneficiaries, ensure gender balance and geographic space in the implementation of youth development programs in Nigeria by the Dutch.

“Nigeria has requested support for start-ups and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs),” the ambassador noted.

The meeting brought together participants from relevant MDAs, partner organizations from Nigeria and Dutch counterparts, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Harry Dijk.

The others were: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, and his industry, trade and investment counterpart, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, among others. (NAA)

(NAN)

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