The Nigerian-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NBCCI) has expressed optimism that this weekend’s visit of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to Nigeria will boost trade and investment between the two countries.
NBCCI, which was established in September 2009 to encourage and promote Nigeria-Brazil’s private and public sectors bilateral business, industrial and cultural relationships, also said the visit would go a long way in helping to correct the trade imbalance between them.
”For us in the NBCCI, we feel it is a very important visit, particular since we are going to have a business forum on Saturday in Abuja (the Nigerian capital),” according to NBCCI Executive Secretary Raymond Die
”That (business forum) is the aspect that interests us because it will present our members with the opportunity to meet the Brazilian businessmen on her (President Rousseff) entourage,” he said in an interview with PANA in Lagos Friday, ahead of the 23-24 Feb. visit.
President Rousseff, who is due to arrive in Abuja on Saturday, is expected to come with a large delegation of Brazilian business people who will explore, with their Nigerian counterparts, how to boost Brazil’s investment in Nigeria and raise the volume of trade between the two nations.
Apart from holding a bilateral meeting with President Jonathan, the Nigeria-Brazil Business Forum in Abuja will be the highlight of the visit
Mr. Die said the Forum would be used by the members of the NBCCI to initiate business discussions with their Brazilian counterparts in the various economic segments.
”The Forum is like a business match-making. We believe some business will resort from there. But even if business discussions are not concluded, contacts that could blossom in the future would have been made,” he said.
He said another area of interest to the business chamber’s members is the aviation sector, especially since there is yet no direct flight between Nigeria and Brazil. ”We think something positive can come up in this area,” he said.
According to NBCCI data, the total figure of bilateral trade between Nigeria and Brazil for 2011 stood at US$9.6 billion, with the trade balance tilting heavily in favour of Nigeria.
Nigeria’s total import from Brazil during that year was US$1.2 billion while its export to Brazil, mainly crude oil, was US$8.4 billion.
Nigeria is Brazil’s second largest business partner in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly due to the African nation’s oil exports to the South American giant.
Mr. Die said President Rousseff’s visit would help in efforts to correct the trade imbalance, especially as the chamber is trying to encourage Nigerians to go into business in areas other than oil.