The Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shameen Ahsan, has called for the strengthening of its international relations with Nigeria to harness investment potential that abounds in both countries.
Ahsan made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at the closing of the 2019 Abuja International Trade Fair organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
The envoy said that its mission was relatively new while its two-way trade with Nigeria was not impressive and yet to be significant.
Ahsan said that Bangladesh, with a population of 165 million people was the second-largest producer of ready-made garments in the world after China. According to him, Bangladesh is also exporting pharmaceutical products to more than 150 countries.
“We are delighted to be part of the fair, this is the first time Bangladesh participated in the ACCI international trade fair, we are happy for the interest the fair has generated. We tried to display as much as possible for our exhibits. Nigerians can benefit from investing in Bangladesh” he explained.
“Attending the trade fair allows us to showcase our investment potential and interact with representatives and stakeholders from other countries to find out what they can offer,” he said.
Describing Nigeria as the sixth largest oil-producing country in the world and the largest democracy in Africa, he called for collaboration because of some similarities and commonalities shared by the two nations including the colonial path.
Earlier, the ACCI Director-General, Mrs. Tonia Shoyole said the ACCI took great care in planning the event, adding that the next edition would be different.
“We will be departing from the building of wooden exhibiting stands and probably be using steel as a permanent structure to give everybody some level of comfort. It will be a highly innovating one, bringing businesses into Nigeria that would collaborate with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
“Naturally, fairs are not only for selling but for business networking and relationships, that is what we will dwell on next year,” she said.
On low patronage and publicity, Shoyole said that it could be because of the state of the economy in the country, adding that 60 percent of its 2019 AITF budget was for publicity.
“The state of the economy reflected in the patronage,” she said.
She thanked its esteemed exhibitors, both foreign and local for their loyalty, patience, and sacrifices toward the successful hosting of the 2019 trade fair. She also commended the strong innovations noticed on some exhibitor’s stands including government agencies and MSMEs which indicated that they had embarked on a lot of innovations in the country.
To further encourage the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as the driver of the economy, Shoyole urged governments to provide a conducive environment that would make the sector to thrive.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of certificates of excellence to 16 deserving fair exhibitors, including the Bangladesh High Commission and Adamawa state government.
The fair held from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2, with the theme “Remodeling MSMEs Financing: Options and Solution.”