Nigeria and Britain are set to double the volume of their bilateral trade to 8 billion pounds by 2014, according to local media reports Tuesday.
The reports said the two countries also pledged to work to ensure a more friendly business climate for investors, at a press conference jointly addressed by their officials.
They said the trade value projected was feasible as factors militating against effective trade between the two Commonwealth Organisation members had been identified.
Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga said the meeting between the two countries was a follow up to an earlier discussion between their leaders, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, on how to increase their trade volume by 100%.
He explained that issues of barriers to trade were being looked into, as well as the Small and Medium Enterprises sector and the Diaspora group.
”There is no shortage of interest in investment in Nigeria. We have all it takes to attract investment. Our environment looks great. We have fertile land, good whether condition, 34 solid minerals in commercial quantity all of which make Nigeria an investment destination of choice.
”We intend to leverage on Nigerians in Diaspora in United Kingdom, most of who are SMEs involve in trade,” the minister said.
For his part, UK Secretary, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr. Vince Cable, said the focus of the country in its trade relation with Nigeria is not on which country leads in the volume of trade, but an assurance of trade growth in both countries.
“We do not worry if there is an inbalance against the United Kingdom. If we do not import crude oil from Nigeria, we could import from other countries. The important thing is that trade is growing in both directions. That is the key because it is mutually beneficial. We want to see barriers being removed,” Dr. Cable said.
He promised a robust relationship between Britain and its former colony based on openness, equality and friendship.