Rosie Glazebrook, the chief executive officer of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), says one of the aims of the CWEIC is to increase the number of its strategic partners in Nigeria, building on its current strengths with 21 strategic partners.
Glazebrook stated this in Lagos when she held a media parley during her recent visit to Nigeria to highlight CWEIC’s upcoming activities such as, Commonwealth Trade and Investment Summit slated for November 27 and 28, 2023, in London; Commonwealth Trade and Investment Forum in Malta in February 2024 and Commonwealth Business Forum which will hold in Samoa in October 2024.
She also mentioned that she took out time to visit the CWEIC’s existing strategic partners as well as some prospective strategic partners and co-chaired the Nigerian International Advisory Council (NIAC) meeting with Olasupo Shasore, partner, Africa Law Practice NG & Co who is the chairman of the NIAC as well as hosting a Commonwealth reception and dinner event to round off her visit.
She described Nigeria as a country with huge growth potential for foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade.
“We do not want to put any limit on how many businesses we partner with in Nigeria, but we would encourage them to be part of what we do. Nigeria is second to the UK in the number of our strategic partners and I would like to grow this even further,” said Glazebrook.
She, however, emphasised on the relevance of policies and strategies that would promote ease of doing business in Nigeria and Commonwealth countries for accelerated economic growth.
According to her, the current gross domestic product (GDP) of Commonwealth is $14.5 trillion and is estimated to hit $19.5 trillion by 2027.
She urged businesses in Nigeria to leverage on the summit and the Commonwealth Trade and Investment Forum which would be held in October 2024, at Samoa before the Commonwealth Heads of State Summit to accelerate business relations and growth.
The CWEIC boss said that Nigerian businesses could advance their trade and investment opportunities using support given by CWEIC and leveraging its network across 56 Commonwealth nations.
Explaining the need for deeper trade relations, she noted that trade between Commonwealth countries was 21 percent cheaper.
“Trading between Commonwealth countries, is on average 21 percent cheaper. This is why we encourage the breakdown of the trade barrier to make it easier for Nigerian businesses. The Commonwealth has a huge population and huge business opportunities and that is what we seek to harness,” she added.
Glazebrook stated that the organisation seeks to support business growth and resilience, and build links across sectors.
“We are growing our partnerships and looking at ways that we can support businesses in trade and investment, while building the link with businesses across sectors ranging from financial services, oil and gas, healthcare and technology, etc.,” she said.
She further noted that the council was committed to growing the workforce and opportunities for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), as a way to showcase Nigeria’s impact in its business community for more partnership engagements with other nations.
She added that the organisation has positioned strategic hubs around the globe to foster connectivity between businesses, their communities and government.
“We have 12 hubs around the globe and there’s one here in Lagos. We use our hubs as an entry point for many businesses who want to go into new markets and find their way around the local connections and government,” she said.