The Ukrainian government seeks to improve trade relations with Nigeria by expanding on the areas of economic cooperation between the two nations. The recently launched mission will not only promote bilateral trade, which is an opportunity for Nigerian businesses intending to explore the Ukrainian market, it will also engage with other entrepreneurs from Ukraine.
The official trade delegation led by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Mrs Nataliia Mykolska, has started the mission in Lagos within the frames of the First Ukrainian Trade Mission in Nigeria. The Nigeria-Ukrainian Business Forum in Lagos on April, 4th, and at Nigeria-Ukrainian Trade & Investment Integration Forum in Abuja on April, 5 – 6th will be used to discuss the system of export-import relations, trade barriers and legislative features. The trade mission is in partnership with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) as well as the Office for Trade Negotiations, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
“Nigeria is a promising partner for Ukraine in West Africa. Also, Nigeria is among TOP-20 markets in focus for Ukrainian export in the Export Strategy of Ukraine, and there is a great potential for bilateral trade increase,” said Nataliya Mykolska, the trade representative of Ukraine. “We see a lot of opportunities for Ukrainian businesses here and, therefore, we are opening Nigeria market for Ukrainian exporters.”
Ukrainian products are in high demand on the African market. Among the top-30 commodities with the largest potential for export to Nigeria, there are products of light industry, paper, furniture, electrical equipment and confectionery. Also, existing Nigerian exports to Ukraine include seeds and fruits of oilseeds, cocoa and derived products; coffee and tea.
Prince Kayode Adetokumbo, the president of ACCI, stated that the major areas of interest in the business forum would be international trade, agrarian and food industry, automotive and aviation, engineering and information and communication technology (ICT), chemical and pharmaceutical production.
He also encouraged Nigerian businessmen and investors to use the avenue to trade between the two countries. Kayode also eurged them to make fruitful contacts among themselves and ensure that perspectives of bilateral economic trade, and investment cooperation between Ukraine and Nigeria are deepened.
In 2017, trade turnover between Nigeria and Ukraine amounted to $95.6 million. During the business forum at Abuja yesterday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, expressed his disappointment at the low figures. “The visit came at a time Nigeria is pursuing economic growth that will aid its vision of being among top 20 economies in the world. As of November last year, trade volume between Nigeria and Ukraine was 93.3 million which is a decrease of four percent in 2016. With your visit we hope the volume of trade would increase in 2018,” Mustapha said.
Other members of the delegation from Ukraine include Deputy Minister for Agrarian Policy and Food, Mrs. Olga Trofimtseva, the country’s Vice-President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Sergii Svystil as well as representatives of 14 Ukrainian companies working in industries like agriculture and food processing, automotive and aviation industries, engineering and IT-technology, chemical and pharmaceutical production.
Apart from trade between both countries, Ukraine is also one of the major countries hosting many Nigerian students abroad. Thus, expanding the trade relationship could be beneficial to both sides.