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EU-Nigeria trade volume hits €24.6bn in 2023, despite 18.7% decline

EU-Nigeria trade volume hits €24.6bn in 2023, despite 18.7% decline

…EU launches agribusiness platform to boost trade, investment

The volume of trade between European Union and Nigeria stood at €24.6bn in 2023, with oil dominating imports during the period, Miriam Ferran, the deputy director general, Directorate of International Partnerships (INTPA), European Commission, has revealed.

This is 18.7% lower than 2022’s volume. Ferran made the revelation in her remarks at the 9th Edition of the EU- Nigeria Business Forum tagged: “Investing in jobs and sustainable future which began in Abuja Tuesday.

The EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS also launched the EU-Nigeria Agribusiness Platform.

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“The EU remains Nigeria’s biggest trading partner, first investor, top donor of humanitarian and development aid, and the biggest diplomatic network. EU-Nigeria trade relations favours Nigeria, with crude oil contributing the most of the imports from Nigeria,” the deputy director said.

She added that the digital platform is aimed at increasing private investments in the country’s agribusiness sector noted that the platform was set In consultation with the government of Nigeria.

“It was decided to launch an EU-Nigeria Agribusiness Platform as a structured dialogue between Nigerian and EU farming and agri-food communities, agricultural and agro-industrial sectors to promote trade and attract responsible investment, and to foster business linkages, particularly for SMEs,” Ferran said.

“Sustainable agriculture is a cornerstone for economic development and sustainable growth in Nigeria. The agricultural sector contributes around a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP). Considering its importance, successive Nigerian governments have been striving to diversify the economy from its crude oil dependence by rejuvenating the agricultural sector through different agricultural policies and programmes in order to promote and propel the agricultural sector for enhanced productivity and increased agri-food commodity base.”

She further stressed the need to improve on non-oil trade between Nigeria and the European Union.
Agribusiness Register Limited, a private sector entity conversant with the agribusiness ecosystem, will manage the EU-Nigeria Agribusiness Platform.

The idea of handing over the platform to a private sector-led entity working in partnership with public and private sector stakeholders came out during a stakeholders’ consultative meeting in April 2023, she said

The Agribusiness Register Limited will work with, and engage with selected agribusinesses, farmer groups, aggregators and other critical stakeholders. It will also nurture partnership and collaboration with EU implementing partners in the relevant space of agriculture, digital and entrepreneurship on one hand, with the relevant agencies of the government of Nigeria.

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In particular, it will work with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Standards Organization of Nigeria and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.

The idea for an agribusiness platform stems from the commitments of the November 2020 EU-Nigeria Ministerial Dialogue

Meanwhile the director said that the digital platform is aimed at increasing private investments in the country’s agribusiness sector.

“The initiative will contribute to the reduction of food insecurity and poverty as well as the attainment of sustainable economic development in Nigeria”.

The EU-Nigeria Agribusiness Platform will contribute to boosting the exploration and exploitation of agribusiness opportunities between Nigeria and the EU through the establishment and maintenance of a network of active members of agribusinesses across Nigeria and the EU.

An agribusiness platform is a form of a digital agricultural platform that provides digital marketing, trading or investment space for commercial and/or transactional activities, interactions, communications, integrations and cooperation in the agri-food system and agro-industry between Nigerian and European SMEs.

The EU-Nigeria Agribusiness Platform’s primary focus is to create linkages and interactions between Nigeria and EU agribusiness stakeholders especially amongst SMEs; promote trade and investment between both sides.