Nigeria, Ghana, Tunisia hold business investment forum in Tunis
An international business forum aimed at bringing together entrepreneurs and business en from Nigeria, Tunisia, and other West African countries, is to hold between June 8 to 14, 2019, in Tunis, the Tunisian capital.
The business forum, a collaborative effort between the Tunisian Embassy in Abuja, CMD and Tours, and Grey and White Nigeria Limited, has the theme: Harnessing Business and Trade Opportunities between Nigeria and Tunisia. The forum will focus on business relationship between Tunisia and West African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic, and others.
In a press release issued on the business forum, signed by Cecile Doumbe, the organisers said the reason for the forum was based on the need for a genuine wealth building through networking to achieve robust economic growth and development and also attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for the country.
“Nigeria and Tunisia Business Investment Forum is anchored on this principle, to harness businesses and trade opportunities together,” she said.
She noted Nigeria, with a population of about 191.8 million and growing GDP of about $581.6 billion, was a business hub, with a robust private sector.
The Nigeria government is promoting the increased production in the non-oil sector of the economy by creating a level playing field for private sector-led activity. Essentially, the pivots around which the framework for economic growth and development will revolve include the following: agriculture and agro-business, solid minerals development, other manufacturing, including information and communications technology (ICT), crude oil, natural gas, tourism and services.
“Tunisia has a population of 11.5 million, a GDP of $41.6 billion, and an average production of 190,000 tons, was the world’s second largest olive oil producer in 2017 behind Spain, and growing global demand could double that amount. Tunisia also has substantial phosphate deposits and was the world’s fifth largest producer until 2011. It also has gas deposits for domestic consumption. The improving security situation is reopening possibilities for new investment in tourism, has a diversified industrial base (aeronautics, chemical industry, and textiles); making both countries an economic hub in Africa.”
Doumbe said the event was important because of the many highlighted businesses and trade opportunities that Nigeria and Tunisia can benefit from. The economy of Nigeria advanced 2.4 percent year-on-year in the last quarter of 2018, following a 1.8 percent expansion in the previous period and beating market expectations of a 2.1 percent gain.
It was the highest growth rate since the third quarter of 2015, as the non-oil sector increased further and the oil sector contracted less. Output increased further for information and telecommunication, arts, entertainment and recreation; agriculture; manufacturing; and construction.
Among the areas the business forum would cover are; ICT, medical and agriculture, tourism agribusiness, aviation, education and training, skilled workforce development, healthcare services, entertainment, hospitality and tourism, infrastructure and real estate, manufacturing, maritime and shipping, extractive Industries telecommunications, technology and innovation, waste management and environmental remediation, transportation, mining, banking, among others.
The objectives of the event, according to the organisers, include: to provide opportunities for Nigerian and Tunisian businesses to create effective partnership and collaboration; highlight incentives available in each country; include funding opportunities and risk management, SMEs for the purpose of increasing FDI into each country; provide a unique opportunity for the countries to attract captains of industries and investments for robust development; provide platform for business leaders, policy makers from each of the countries; provide platform for business leaders, policy makers from each of the countries to share ideas, discuss and network; to highlight and facilitate investment, harness business opportunities in West Africa and Tunisia; provide opportunities that can reduce negative trade balance to its barest minimum in major sectors.
Among the expected result from the business forum are identification of emerging business opportunities worth investing in each country; have a robust knowledge of each country’ economic outlook and potentials; the event will bring about the establishment of partnerships/collaborations with international development agencies towards training, and capacity development in each country.
Also, there will be signing of MoU between some countries in West Africa and Tunisia on various business opportunities.
Among those expected at the forum include: members of Tunisia Chambers of Commerce and Industry; potential private investors from Nigeria and Tunisia; Togo Chamber of Commerce; Ghana Chamber of Commerce; Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending and National Orientation Agency.
Others are: Manufacturers Association of Nigeria; Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; Ministry of Science and Technology; Ministry of Education; Nigerian Communications Commission; Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Niger Delta Development Commission; Ministry of Health; Motion Picture Practitioners’ Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN) ;National Council of Arts and Culture; Bank of Industry, Nigeria; Nigerian Export-Import Bank and Nigerian Export Promotion Council.