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Sweden Seeks Increase in Trade Volume With Nigeria



  • Sweden Seeks Increase in Trade Volume With Nigeria

Sweden is seeking opportunities that will increase the trade relations and volumes between it and Nigeria.

Swedish Minister for European Union (EU) Affairs and Trade, Mrs. Ann Linde, who led the Swedish delegation to Nigeria, disclosed this in Lagos on Wednesday, during an interaction with journalists.

Linde said the coming of the Swedish Delegation to Nigeria, was mainly to promote trade between the two countries, stressing that Sweden recognised Nigeria as an investment destination and a big trade country.

“The aim of the delegation is to highlight business opportunities in Nigeria for Swedish companies. The focus of the delegation is developing sustainable and smart societies using Swedish innovations in ICT, transport, energy, health and finance,” she stated.

According to her, Sweden is the highest ranked country in terms of connectivity, digital economy and e-governance and has a strong tradition in innovation in different sectors of the economy. She said Sweden is conceived as one of the most advanced post-industrialised economies and Swedish companies are perceived as innovative, reliable and good partners.

Speaking about Nigeria, Linde said the country is the largest and fastest growing middle class globally, stressing that there is ongoing effort by the current government to diversify its economy. “During this visit the Swedish experience and how its innovations and ICT technology can enhance productivity in many sectors will be shared.”

She hinted that the Swedish intent to strengthen commercial ties goes beyond single business opportunities and industry sectors, but extends to strategic collaborations with not only private businesses but also public sector and academia.

While a document made available to journalists indicated that the trade between the two countries is over 5.94 billion SEK, which makes Nigeria Sweden’s second largest export market in sub-Sahara Africa, Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs. Inger Ultvedt, lamented that there was still deficit between the two countries.

Ultvedt put trade export between the two countries at 6.3 billion SEK (N222.7 billion), while import as at 2015 stood at 2.1 billion SEK (N74.237 billion).

According to her, there was a need for the two countries to improve their bilateral trade relations so as to be able to engender more cordial relationship.

The Ambassador reiterated that ICT, energy, infrastructure and transport are key areas for the Swedish-Nigerian and European Union, EU cooperation. She stressed that the growing and dynamic nature of the ICT sector in Nigeria offers a promising avenue to expand the two countries commercial ties, with continuously increasing number of mobile and Internet users, which in turn will require further investments in expanded networks and across other sectors.

“Sweden, ranking as the most digitalised economy in the world, with Stockholm as a leading incubator for ICT start-ups, has a lot to offer in terms of expertise and knowledge,” she stated.

According to her, Sweden has a number of strong, world-leading companies in the area of ICT, agriculture, finance, energy, healthcare, infrastructure and transport, many of which already are present in Nigeria, including Ericsson, ABB, Altas Copco, Tetra Pak, Gulf Agency Company, Flexenclosure, Oriflame and Sandvik.

Speaking from Ericsson’s angle, the Managing Director for Nigeria, Johan Jemdahl, disclosed that the firm has been in Nigeria for almost 60 years, saying that the country is the most important market for Ericsson in Africa.

He said Nigeria needs to attract more businesses and that mobile broadband was key in get that done, including mobility.

Jemdahl however, listed insecurity, foreign exchange fluctuations and getting approval and licenses for some major works as some of the challenges currently confronting doing business in Nigeria.

The Ericsson Nigeria MD, called for the building of smart cities in Nigeria, to ensure that Nigeria becomes a digitalised economy in the world with the help of Swedish companies expertise and knowledge.

“When it comes to developing smart cities, you need to have the broadband, network inter-connectivity, cooperating with public institutions and mobile operators, among others,” he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Afreximbank, AAAM to Drive Automotive Investment




Afreximbank, AAAM to Drive Automotive Investment

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the financing and promotion of the automotive industry in Africa.

President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah and President of AAAM/Managing Director of Nissan Africa, Mike Whitfield, signed the MoU in early February, according to a statement yesterday.

The deal formalised the basis for a partnership aimed at boosting regional automotive value chains and financing for the automotive industry while supporting the development of enabling policies, technical assistance, and capacity building initiatives.

Oramah, said, “the strategic partnership with AAAM will facilitate the implementation of the Bank’s Automotive programme which aims to catalyze the development of the automotive industry in Africa as the continent commences trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

Under the terms of the MoU, Afreximbank and AAAM will work together to foster the emergence of regional value chains with a focus on value-added manufacturing created through partnerships between global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), suppliers, and local partners.

The two organisations plan to undertake comprehensive studies to map potential regional automotive value chains on the continent in regional economic clusters, in order to enable the manufacture of automotive components for supply to hub assemblers.

“To support the emergence of the African automotive industry, they will collaborate to provide financing to industry players along the whole automotive value chain. The potential interventions include lines of credit, direct financing, project financing, supply chain financing, guarantees, and equity financing, amongst others.

“The MoU also provides for them to support, in conjunction with the African Union Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat, the development of coherent national, regional and continental automotive policies, and strategies.

“With an integrated market under the AfCFTA, abundant and cheap labour, natural resource wealth, and a growing middle class, African countries are increasingly turning their attention to support the emergence of their automotive industries.

“Therefore, the collaboration between Afreximbank and AAAM will be an opportunity to empower the aspirations of African countries towards re-focusing their economies on industrialisation and export manufacturing and fostering the emergence of regional value chains,” the statement added.

“The signing of the MoU with Afreximbank is an exciting milestone for the development of the automotive industry in Africa. At the 2020 digital Africa Auto Forum, the lack of affordable financing available for the automotive sector was identified as one of the key inhibiters for the growth and development of the automotive industry in Africa and having Afreximbank on board is a game changer and a hugely positive development,” CEO of AAAM, David Coffey said.

“It is wonderful to have a partner that is as committed as the AAAM to driving the development and growth of our sector on the continent; this collaboration will ensure genuine progress for our industry in Africa,” Coffey added.

Other areas covered by the MoU include working with the African Union and the African Organisation for Standardisation to harmonise automotive standards across the continent and developing an automotive focused training program for both the public and private sector.

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FG Warns Foreign Investors Against Enslaving Nigerians




FG Warns Foreign Investors Against Enslaving Nigerians

The Federal Government on Monday warned foreign investors against subjecting Nigerians working in their companies to industrial slavery.

The government said the warning became necessary following several complaints against foreign companies maltreating some of their staff.

The Chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Chile Igbawua, issued the warning during a courtesy call on him by a delegation of Pan Africa United Youth Developments Network who came to lay complaint against some foreign companies allegedly maltreating Nigerians working under them.

The PCC said that it would not allow only its state commissioners to handle the issues due to their magnitude as there had been so many complaints about the ways some of the foreign companies were treating their staff.

At the event, the leader of the delegation, Habib Muhammed, expressed concern over alleged injustice and irregularities perpetrated by some company on Nigeria youths whom they engaged as factory workers.

He called on the Federal Government to look into the alleged slavery and injustice meted on Nigerian youths.

While calling on the foreigners to obey the labour laws of Nigeria, Igbawua said, “Our resources cannot be used to enslave us again.”

He said, “We have labour laws in Nigeria for goodness sake and we also have industrial standards; people working in various industries are entitled to good working conditions and minimum conditions of service.”

He added that the law was clear on the issue of casualisation and should be implemented.

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Foreign Direct Investments into China Shot Up by 9% in 2020 to $163 Billion Against 49% US Decline




Foreign Direct Investments into China Shot Up by 9% in 2020 to $163 Billion Against 49% US Decline

China had the highest inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) globally in 2020, surpassing the US which took the lead in 2019.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Comprar Acciones, China’s inflow shot up by 9% to $163 billion up from $140 billion the previous year. Meanwhile, the US had a 49% drop from $251 billion in 2019 to $134 billion.

Based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China reported a 2.3% growth in GDP in 2020. It was the only major economy to record a positive growth rate during the year.

Chinese Stock Market Saw 18 Million New Investors in 2020

Global FDI took a hit in 2020, falling by 42% year-over-year (YoY) from $1.49 trillion in 2019 to $859 billion. The figure was 30% lower than the one reported during the 2009 financial crisis.

Developed countries saw the worst performance, sinking by a cumulative 69% YoY to $229 billion. For developing economies, there was a 12% decline of $616 billion. By the end of 2020, developing countries accounted for a 72% share of global FDI, the highest on record. India had the highest growth among top-rated economies, shooting up by 13%.

China bore the brunt of the pandemic much better than its peers, posting a 6.5% GDP growth in Q4 2020. During the year, there were 18.02 million new investors in its mainland stock market, raising the total to 177.77 million. Driving the surge in interest was the stellar performance of Chinese stocks in 2020.

The Shenzen Component grew by 38.7% in 2020, and the CSI 300 increased by 27.2%, compared to the S&P 500’s 16.26% growth. IPO activity also soared, with China and Hong Kong accounting for 40% of global IPO volume in 2020 according to Ernst & Young.

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