The Nigerian and Canadian governments have promised to leverage on their areas of strength to fast track bilateral trade volume to US$6 billion by 2015, from the present figure of US2.7 billion, according to local media reports Tuesday.
The two countries gave the assurance during the Nigeria-Canada Bi-National Commission meeting in the capital city of Abuja Monday,
The meeting was co-chaired by the Nigerian Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, and the Canadian Minister for International Trade, Ed Fast.
“Nigeria is one of Canada’s largest trading partners in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011, Nigeria’s value of merchandise trade with Canada stood at US$2.7 billion; consisting of US$2.5 billion in Nigeria’s exports to Canada and US$199 million import,” Aganga said.
He disclosed that the bulk of Nigeria’s export to Canada revolves around oil and gas, and emphasised the need to strengthen relationship between the two Commonwealth countries by widening their export into the non-oil sector.
“The establishment of the Nigeria-Canada Bi-National Commission (NCBNC) to further facilitate and strengthen the bilateral cooperation between our two countries is indeed an initiative worthy of commendation.
”This meeting today (Monday) serves as an avenue for Nigeria and Canada to review the socio-economic progress of both countries with a view to consolidating on gains and re-strategising for enhanced growth,” he added.
His Canadian counterpart, Ed Fast, said Nigeria remained Canada’s trade and investment priority in Africa, adding that arrangements were ongoing towards signing an Investment Protection Agreement with Nigeria as part of efforts to enhance trade and investment between the two countries.
“Trade and Investment are the twin engines of economic growth and Nigeria represents Canada’s number one trade and investment interest in Africa. In this period of global economic uncertainty, Canada is committed to building strong economic partnerships with emerging economic powers like Nigeria. In order to achieve this, we are taking steps to enhance business ties between Canada and Nigeria,” Mr. Fast said.