Taiwan eyes investment in Nigeria’s manufacturing, agriculture sectors to drive export

Taiwan is eyeing multi-million-dollar investments in Nigeria’s manufacturing, agricultural and power sectors to deepen mutually beneficial trade relations for both countries and scale up import and export of commodities.

Presently, total trade volume between Taiwan and Nigeria stands at over $530 million from January to September 2021; this figure represents a 118 percent increase from 2020 which stood at over $300 million.

Nigeria’s major export to Taiwan includes; crude oil, natural gas, Sesame, cashew nuts and solid minerals. The country imports machinery, refined oil and some chemicals from Taiwan.

Joana Mai, Economic Counselor, Taiwan trade mission, in an interview with BusinessDay said Taiwan already has a cluster of industries across the country, but is seeking to attract new investments in sub-sectors such as food processing, machinery, plastic and rubber machinery, Information, Communication Technology (ICT) solution, and alternative energy.

Mai said Nigeria and Taiwan already signed an agreement to provide a $5billion trading loan for Nigerian and Taiwanese companies to facilitate trading. She affirmed that Taiwan is already on the path to upgrade its investment protection and promotion agreement with the Nigerian government.

Read Also: Nigeria’s manufacturing sector records trade deficit of N4.3trn in Q2 2021

She urged Nigeria to focus on the non-oil economy especially with the vast natural resources in the country, while noting that the world is already upgrading to an electric cars or green energy and looking away from crude oil.

“Taiwan has lots of industry clusters and teams that are willing to come to Nigeria, for example, medical devices, textile, green energy, recycling of plastic and waste, ICT software, digital economy.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Nigeria’s manufacturing market become more mature and Taiwanese businesses will as a team partner with Nigeria join the global supply chain,” she enthused.

Mai added that Taiwan is also eager to share knowledge with Nigeria on how Taiwan grows and develops her industry. “For example, in agriculture, we don’t just want to sell you our machine, we also want to share with you the knowledge about smart farming and how to use technology to enable and improve agricultural productivity”.

Mai assured that Taiwan will invest in Nigeria’s power sector by providing alternative clean energy to help Nigeria improve its power supply and make Nigeria’s business environment more attractive to investors. According to her, power supply and security are two major factors that will attract foreign business to Nigeria.

Andy Yih-Ping Liu, Representative, Taipei Trade Office in Nigeria, reiterated Mai’s position that Nigeria stands to benefit a lot from trade relations with Taiwan, even though both countries do not have bilateral relations.

“Nigeria can benefit from Taiwan’s good relationship with Nigeria. This is because Taiwan is very advanced in high technology, health and medical industry and also in all kinds of food processing machinery as well as all kinds of hand tools that can really benefit the small and medium scale industry all around Nigeria. As long as Nigerian business people are interested to know how Taiwan can provide good trading machine tools and all kinds of machinery that can help Nigeria to build its own agriculture and food industry, and then build its own electronics and also with technology related industry,” Liu said.

He noted that Taiwan and Nigeria are equal members in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Taiwan is ready to support Ngoizi Okonjo-Iweala, adding that both the Nigerian and Taiwanese governments are interested in promoting the bilateral investment protection mechanism.

Speaking further, he said despite the 70-year old face-off between China and Taiwan, the Ambassador said Taiwan economy has thrived and China is one of its biggest markets. He added that Taiwan enjoys a lot of goodwill from the United States, UK and Japan

“We have built very good relations with the US, Japan and the EU though we don’t have diplomatic relations with them, but at the same time, they value Taiwan as a true beacon of democracy and also a good trading partner. But actually, China is our biggest trading market. Although we have political and military standoffs, no war has broken out for the last half a century. So both sides of Taiwan and China have been very practical because we speak the same language.

“We eat the same food just like the two Korean government’s standoff between themselves, but we do business together. We both do good business together. We make money together.

“So that’s why when we come into Nigeria, we sincerely hope that the Nigerian government and the people will realise that no matter what China has said, Taiwan stands alone and we stand together with all the democracies in the world and we do good business together,” the Ambassador said.

Taiwan is home to at least 23 million people on an island in the Pacific.