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French firms eye Lagos Free Zone as possible investment destination

The Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur, French Foreign Trade Advisors, have endorsed Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) and Lekki Ports, both being developed by the Tolaram Group as ideal investment destinations for French businesses in Nigeria.

This was made known during a recent visit of trade delegation from France led by Jerome Pasquier, the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, to the Lagos Free Zone. The Ambassador was accompanied by his economic advisor, the Consulate General of France in Lagos and the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur comprising of Chief Executives officers (CEOs) of several French businesses in Nigeria.

Pasquier said the aim of the visit was to discover the opportunities in the Lagos Free Zone and the Lekki Port project, both expected to have huge positive impact on businesses in Nigeria.

He commended Tolaram Group for integrating Lekki Port into the master plan of the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), which would serve as the gateway for import and export from the zone, thereby giving businesses in the zone a competitive edge.

He equally commended the Master Plan for the zone, which includes building world-class infrastructure in line with its vision to be the preferred industrial hub and investment destination in West Africa.

“We are impressed with the size of the Lagos Free Zone project. We are very happy that French companies will be deeply involved in this project. It is really impressive to see how ambitious this project is. The French Minister was in Nigeria recently and I explained to him that Nigeria is a country where we can have big projects. For us, this project means big opportunities and that explains why we need to be here. We are happy to be here and to work with Tolaram Group,” Pasquier said.

In his remarks, Dinesh Rathi, chief executive officer, Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), assured the Ambassador and the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur that the zone remains the best destination for investment in both Nigeria and the West African sub-region, given the seamless integration with Lekki Port and the world-class the infrastructure provided by Lagos Free Zone.

According to him, the clustering was planned in line with the international best practices of Work, Live and Play.

He explained that the land-use plan of the Lagos Free Zone allocates 70 percent of the area to industrial developments, 20 percent to logistics and support services while the real estate will cover the remaining 10 percent.

He added that the Zone has simplified the process of business entry and operation in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business policy.

“We have made it very easy for the business to berth and take off in our zone by making our process less cumbersome and friendly, and we are also open for business 24/7 and willing to help investors to settle in very fast,” he said.

Recall that the terminal operations arm of CMA – CGM, was the first French company to be established in Lagos Free Zone, and was appointed operator for the Lekki Port container terminal scheduled to commence next year.

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