A team of Canadian investors led by the Canadian Minister of International Trade and Asian Pacific Gateway, Mr. Ed Fast, on Wednesday met with Nigerian businessmen with a promise to expand existing bilateral trade ties between the two countries.
“I think what we are doing is really providing an impetus to Canada-Nigeria trade investment relationships. The future is very bright for the Canada-Nigeria trade investment relationships,” Mr. Fast said at a breakfast meeting organised for Canadian and Nigerian investors in the commercial city of Lagos.
The Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Ojo Maduekwe, who led his country’s trade delegation to the meeting pledged to fast track trade relationships between the two Commonwealth countries.
At a meeting on Monday in the capital, Abuja, both countries promised to increase the trade volume to US$6 billion by 2015.
Nigeria is one of Canada’s largest trading partners in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2011, the country’s value of merchandise trade with Canada stood at US$2.7billion comprising US$2.5 billion in Nigeria’s exports to Canada and US$199 million import.
Much of Nigeria’s export to Canada, is oil and gas, but the two countries this time around are widening their exports into the non-oil sector.
Canadian investors said they were looking at investment opportunities in key areas like mining, education, banking, finance and manufacturing.
Mr. Fast said as a way of facilitating trade relations and encouraging investors the Canadian government has agreed to open a new visa centre in Lagos. He did not say when this will be done. At the moment the Canadian visa is issued in the Canadian High Commission in Abuja.