The Nigerian/Malaysian Business Council (NMBC) has averred that the new Trade and investment corridor, which was established last year, will open significant trade and investment opportunities for both countries to boost the oil and gas sector.
This was the crux of a business meeting with Malaysian Oil and Gas Companies organized by the High Commission of Malaysia to Nigeria in collaboration with the NMBC, which held in Abuja on Tuesday.
President of Nigeria /Malaysia Business Council, Michael Aderomo said in his remarks that the meeting was organized to bring together private sector players of both countries to develop bilateral relationship and stimulate business and investment in the oil and gas sector and other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He told reporters in an interview that both countries came out with the formula of Nigeria, Malaysia ‘trade corridor’ to meet the challenges of the changing times in a new world economic order. “There is a kind of reshuffling and changing trade patterns like what is happening between China and US and Nigeria needs a model and direction to have a value addition to our economy and Malaysia is one of the countries we are having these relations in various sector and we are starting with oil and gas and very soon we will go to other sectors,” he said.
He stressed that Nigeria would benefit from Malaysia’s technical skill and expertise in local content as they have been able to develop their own local content formula.
“They have been able to use their local content formula to develop their oil sector and most of our companies deal with Malaysia but not directly they are going through others to get services. Nigeria has potentials and Malaysia is ready to do business with Nigeria and we are trying to benefit by collaborating with them.
“Nigerian economy needs capacity development to have impact on our GDP and also to have positive impact on our human development index, which means a component of trade and investment that have been developing with human capital. The benefit will be very robust for Nigeria. The important aspect is our resources and we need to develop the capacity of our people. We have to sustain the relationship to create a win -win situation and we are putting emphasis on internal market,” he added.
In her remarks, the Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gloria Tiwet, said the bilateral relations between Malaysia and Nigeria have continued to record a positive growth. She said that in 2018, total bilateral trade between Nigeria and Malaysia grew by 15.7% to $712 million.
“In 2018 major imports from Nigeria to Malaysia were metal ore and that constitutes 46.6%; crude petroleum 35%; agriculture products 14.7%; iron and steel products stood at 1.5% and natural rubber 0.9%. Meanwhile exports from Malaysia to Nigeria were palm oil and palm-based agriculture products that stood at 31.7 %; petroleum 9.4%; machinery 9.3 %; transport 8.5% and chemical and chemical products,” she said.
She noted that Nigeria, which produces approximately 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, is an important partner to Malaysia in oil and gas sector, stressing that there is great opportunity for both countries in the oil and gas sector even as she urged business men of both countries to exploit the opportunities therein to grow business for the benefit of both countries.
The Director of Oil and gas, Chemical & Energy Section Export Promotion& Market Division of Malaysia, Kai Shankar, expressed the readiness of Malaysia to share its expertise in the sector with in Nigeria through a sustainable partnership with Nigerian companies.
“We need to have more people -to- people relationship and once there is greater level of relationship, greater flow of information and greater level of understanding between the businesses of countries then naturally trade and investment will flow,” he said.
He added that Malaysian companies were looking for joint ventures and are also working with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council and Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
Innocent Odoh, Abuja