The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday, said Nigeria remained the largest economy in Africa.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Embassy of UAE in Abuja and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
It stated that the Embassy had commenced a series of trade and investment promotion activities aimed at bolstering the bilateral trade and investment volume between Nigeria and the UAE.
NAN reports that the trade promotion initiative, was coordinated in collaboration with the UAE International Investment Council (UAEIIC), the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria.
According to the embassy, the initiative focuses on attracting key industry stakeholders and investors across all sectors in Nigeria and the UAE in a bid to develop and explore future trade opportunities.
“Nigeria has been chosen among the 34 selected countries globally participating in the initiative because of its pivotal position as a top investment market in the West African region and its overall economic influence in Africa,” said the statement.
The UAE Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), Sheikh Shakhboot Al Nahyan, expressed satisfaction with the level of trade, political and cultural partnership that existedbetween both countries.
“UAE is the ninth largest exporter to Nigeria globally, the UAE continues to see Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa and also an important, trusted partner.
“For decades, both countries have continued to nurture strong bilateral relations, particularly in the areas of trade and investment.
“To date, we remain Nigeria’s largest trade partner in the Middle East region, accounting for 35 per cent of Nigeria’s total trade with the region,” he said.
He added that over the past few years, there had been high-level political exchanges amid continuing mutual trust between both countries, which led to the signing of several key agreements aimed at solidifying overall bilateral relations.
“It is my desire that the existing relationship continues to grow as the global economy gradually recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Valued at 1.4 billion dollars in 2019, I willlike to see this increase and look forward to working toward this in a mutual beneficial manner, ” he said.
In his remarks, The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, was confident that the UAE/Nigeria ties would continue to grow in areas of trade and investment.
“UAE and Nigeria relationship is witnessing a positive development dominated by cooperation, respect and mutual interests.
“The two countries are enjoying growth rates of bilateral trade, while the volume of non-oil trade exchange reached 1.45 billion dollars by the end of 2019.
“Our goal is to increase non-oil bilateral trade based on huge trade and investment potential and promising opportunities in the two countries’ markets and vital sectors,” he said.
He also added that the Embassy actively partnered with several Nigerian government ministries, parastatals and the private sector in the UAE and Nigeria in the execution of media campaign of the trade and Investment promotion.
The Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, reaffirmed Nigeria’s readiness to make UAE a top destination for exports because of its strategic position in the middle east region.
He said: “Moving forward, we hope to further strengthen our economic ties for economic development with common interest for both countries.
“We reaffirm Nigeria’s readiness to make UAE our preferred leading export markets because of her positioning as a strategic global and regional trade and investment hub.”
The Nigerian Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch Olamilekan Adegbite, said, “Trade between Nigeria and UAE had been on for a long time, albeit informally.
“I look forward to this collaboration to enhance what has been and to open up new vistas.”
The UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Fahad Altaffaq, underscored the need for both countries to jointly expand the spectrum of trade activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While approaching the 40th anniversary of UAE-Nigeria relations, which began in 1982, we plan to continue providing platforms where UAE and Nigerian businesses can connect to identify ventures and opportunities particularly in emerging sectors.
“This includes, Artificial Intelligence (AI) FinTech and Space Exploration. The UAE is a top global investment hub and I encourage Nigerian investors to take advantage of the wide trade and investment opportunities,” he said.
Nigeria Allotted $3.35bn From IMF’s Special Drawing Rights(SDRs)
Nigeria has secured about $3.35 billion as part of a historic general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This is part of the general allocation of about SDR456 billion – an equivalent of $650 billion – by the IMF Board of Governors.
This will help to boost liquidity in Nigeria that is currently battling declining revenue.
The allocation which was approved on Monday aims to boost global liquidity at a time when the world is grappling with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis,” said IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva.
Although it is not a currency, the SDR is an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement the official reserves of its member countries.
It is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members and can provide a country with liquidity. The SDR is defined by the US dollar, Euro, Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen, and the British Pound.
The amount allocated to Nigeria is as a result of the exchange rate of reference which is 0.702283 SDR to a dollar as of July 1, 2021, and Nigeria has 2.4545 billion SDRs.
“The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy,” the IMF managing director added.
“It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
According to the IMF, the general allocation of SDRs will become effective on August 23 and the newly created SDRs will be credited to IMF member countries in proportion to their existing quotas in the Fund.
It stated that about $275 billion (about SDR 193 billion) of the new allocation will go to emerging markets and developing countries, including low-income countries.
UN Chief Welcomes Historic’ IMF Liquidity Boost for Governments in Need
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate restrictions on government spending throughout the world, the UN chief on Tuesday welcomed the decision by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve a $650 billion allocation of Special Drawing Rights to “boost liquidity”.
Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement on the policy change towards Special Drawing Rights or SDRs, a type of foreign reserve asset that is IMF defined and maintained, as additional funding that could help to pay down debts.
He also underscored that economies not in need of access to cash should “consider channeling these resources to vulnerable low and middle-income countries that need a liquidity injection by replenishing the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust Fund”.
Yesterday’s IMF’s allocation makes new borrowing available to the fund’s 190 member countries, roughly in proportion to their share of the global economy.
“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis”, said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
“The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy. It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Halting debt default
The Secretary-General stressed that it is also “critical to quickly establish the proposed Resilience and Sustainability Trust at the IMF…[for] a comprehensive response and recovery, including providing more support for vaccinations and debt management and to support the efforts of developing economies in restructuring for inclusive growth”.
Last month, he urged the world’s largest economies to spearhead a global COVID-19 vaccination plan and expand debt relief to developing countries battered by the pandemic.
Bulwark against default
He also advised supporting a new $50 billion IMF investment roadmap aimed at ending the pandemic and driving a fast recovery.
As many developing countries are “teetering on the verge of debt default”, the UN chief encouraged the G20 leading industrialized nations to channel unused SDRs to the Fund’s new resilience and sustainability plan, for these nations.
“Special Drawing Rights also need to be considered as additional funding, not deducted from Official Development Assistance”, he reminded.
IMF Approves Largest SDR Allocation In History to Boost Global Liquidity
The Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) equivalent to US$650 billion (about SDR 456 billion) on August 2, 2021, to boost global liquidity.
“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis. The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy. It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.
The general allocation of SDRs will become effective on August 23, 2021. The newly created SDRs will be credited to IMF member countries in proportion to their existing quotas in the Fund.
According to the IMF, about US$275 billion (about SDR 193 billion) of the new allocation will go to emerging markets and developing countries, including low-income countries.
“We will also continue to engage actively with our membership to identify viable options for voluntary channeling of SDRs from wealthier to poorer and more vulnerable member countries to support their pandemic recovery and achieve resilient and sustainable growth”, Ms. Georgieva said.
One key option is for members that have strong external positions to voluntarily channel part of their SDRs to scale up lending for low-income countries through the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). Concessional support through the PRGT is currently interest-free.
The IMF is also exploring other options to help poorer and more vulnerable countries in their recovery efforts. A new Resilience and Sustainability Trust could be considered to facilitate more resilient and sustainable growth in the medium term.
In April last year, Nigeria collected $3.4 billion—equivalent to 100 percent of its quota— under the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument, RFI, to tackle the funding gaps created by COVID-19, especially when the crude oil market stagnated.
The financial support, approved by the IMF Executive Board on April 28, 2020, provided critical support to shore up Nigeria’s healthcare sector and shielded jobs and businesses from the shock of the COVID-19 crisis while helping to limit the decline in the nation’s external reserves.
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