BusinessDay

CWEIC eye opportunities in Nigeria to boost bloc trade, investments

…sets wheels rolling for CBF’22

The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) is eyeing abundant opportunities in Nigeria to boost trade and investment opportunities among commonwealth countries to achieve an all-inclusive growth and economic development.

The council, which is a non-profit membership organization with an official mandate from the Commonwealth Heads of Government to facilitate trade and investment throughout the 54 Commonwealth member nations, sees Nigeria as a key regional player in West Africa with abundant resources attractive to investors.

Rosie Glazebrook, chief executive of the CWEIC, told BusinessDay in an interview that the council sees a commonwealth advantage where it is 21 percent cheaper to do trade and other businesses leveraging a shared language and history, in which Nigeria plays a significant role.

“There are great opportunities in Nigeria such as its young and growing population, abundant resources, desire for professional services, strategic position, among others what we need are discussions and actions to utilize these opportunities for the commonwealth advantage,” she said.

She revealed that discussions are ongoing with necessary associations such as the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to see how relationships and transactions among the commonwealth countries can be reviewed to become better.

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Glazebrook said the council already has some members such as the Dangote group, African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank), and many others while it anticipates the addition of other new members going forward.

She described the CWEIC as an enabler of businesses aims to provide access to key decision-makers in government and other businesses for its members wherever there are obstacles that might need to do with policy issues or challenges of having visibility at the right place.

She said the council already facilitates and hosts targeted trade missions, business forums and networking events, thought leadership webinars, specially made investment programs and strategic introductions to drive its mandate, as she highlighted the upcoming Commonwealth Business Forum 2022 (CBF 2022).

The CBF 2022 is scheduled to hold from June 21-23, 2022, as an official part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), in Kigali, Rwanda with the theme ‘Delivering a common future: connecting, innovating, transforming,’ which focuses on rebuilding and reinvigorating the global economy post-COVID, and the leadership role the Commonwealth could play in accomplishing this.

“The CHOGM will be returning to Africa after quite a long time and the CBF 2022 is for three days of the CHOGM meeting, we want to encourage as many businesses as possible from Nigeria to bring delegations,” she said.

Glazebrook said the forum will provide a valuable opportunity for high-level dialogue on trade and investment between business and government leaders from across the Commonwealth and beyond and also enable the voice of Nigerian businesses to be heard right across the globe and provide maximum visibility and connections that could benefit them.

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