Trade between Bulgaria and Nigeria has increased by 400% in the last 5 years. This became clear during the Bulgarian-Nigerian Business Forum held today in Sofia. The event was opened by the Minister of Economy and Industry Nikola Stojanov and the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Mariam Katagum. She is visiting Bulgaria together with a government and business delegation at the invitation of Minister Nikola Stojanov.
‘Bilateral trade relations have been developing at a good pace in recent years, which is evidenced by the fourfold increase in trade, but the absolute figures are still unsatisfactory,’ Nikola Stojanov said. He stressed that active steps are needed to build lasting and long-term business relations, to update the contractual and legal base in the area, as well as to exchange economic and commercial information between Bulgaria and Nigeria more effectively.
In the Bulgarian minister’s words, today’s forum is an excellent basis for presenting the advantages of the products, production technologies and know-how used in the two countries and for discussing joint activities to promote trade. ‘Bulgaria can provide a direct link with countries from the whole region and the Middle East, as well as be a gateway for Nigerian companies to the single European market,’ Minister Stojanov further said.
Minister Katagum pointed out that the two countries should actively work for the renewal of the agreements at the government level because they set the framework and a good basis for the development of bilateral relations. The Nigerian minister also said that the country is making great efforts to enter the European market, but also to attract investors who want to develop production in the African country.
The business forum was organized on the initiative of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was attended by over 40 companies from both countries. In the presence of the two ministers, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between BCCI and LCCI, by which the two chambers expressed their will and commitment to deepen cooperation.
Earlier in the day, Minister Nikola Stojanov and Deputy Minister Irina Shtonova held a working meeting with the Nigerian government delegation. They discussed potential areas of partnership as well as concrete steps to intensify relations. During the meeting it became clear that there is a great potential for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, mineral resources, pharmaceuticals, ICT. The parties stressed the usefulness of holding more joint forums and exhibitions, which are a good opportunity for bringing the business community closer and for a more active dialogue between companies.