Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria has for the first time sponsored the “Nigeria Economist Summit 2013 – Enabling and Implementing Change” with the aim of contributing to the economic development and transformation of Nigeria and the wider region.
The two-day annual event, held in Lagos, was attended by more than 500 participants including high-level government officials and corporates. The summit provided a platform for participants to share their views on a variety of subjects, including economic outlook and challenges in Nigeria, China’s role in the region, and actions needed to further facilitate and support Nigeria’s growth.
The keynote was delivered by His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan. Other speakers included Ngozi Okonjo-lweala, Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Nigeria, Diezani Alison Madueke, The Honourable Minister of Petroleum, Olusegun Aganga, The Honourable Minister of Trade and Investment, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Zhong Jianhua, Special Representative of the Chinese Government for African Affairs.
Speaking at the summit, Diana Layfield, Africa CEO for Standard Chartered Bank, reinforced the scale of the African growth story but said that the continent’s economic integration had lagged. “Africa is the world’s second fastest growth region after emerging Asia, with sub-Saharan African GDP increasing by four times over a 10 year period. However, we all know that as a region, Africa trades less with itself than just about anywhere else, at least in terms of formal trade. Intraregional trade used to represent around 11 percent of total trade. In recent years, that has increased to 14 percent. It is still too low, compared to 80 percent intraregional trade in the EU, and 60 percent in Asia,” said Layfield.