The Deputy Head of Delegation, European Union (EU) to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Richard Young, has put the total merchandise trade value between Nigeria and European Union member-states in 2017 at €25.3 billion (about N8.9 trillion).
The envoy gave this hint while briefing the media during the EU-Nigerian Business Forum held Thursday in Lagos.
According to him, in order to improve the economic and other relations with Nigeria and the EU companies operating in the country, the EU Delegation, EU member States and European companies active in Nigeria have established a European Business Organisation (EBO).
Young explained that the organisation would represent the voice of European companies across various sectors of Nigerian economy.
He said: “The EBO Nigeria will also ensure a high-level policy dialogue with Nigerian authorities and organised private with the objective of improving the business and investment and fostering business and trade relations between the EU and Nigeria.”
Young noted that EU had also launched an External Investment Plan (EIP) to encourage investment in partner countries, including Nigeria, adding that the EIP will strengthen its partnerships by promoting inclusive growth, job creation and also tackle some of the root causes of irregular job migration.
He expatiated: “The EIP is a new approach to supporting sustainable development through investment. It will improve the way in which scare public funds are used and how public authorities and private investors cooperate on investment projects.
“Through a new guarantee mechanism, the EIP will increase private investment in higher risk environments, facilitate private sector investments that otherwise would not be available”, the envoy added.
According to him, the 7th EU-Nigeria Business Forum is expected to discuss issues surrounding business climate, certainty of government policies and make appropriate recommendations on how to improve Nigeria-EU relations for mutual benefits.