Nigeria interested to expand economic ties with Pakistan: Maj. Gen. Rtd Ashraf Saleem

General Lahore

LAHORE: Nigerian government has shown keen interest to expand economic ties with Pakistan and are willing to initiate Joint Ventures in Oil and Gas, Fertilizers and for the establishment of oil refinery.

This was stated by Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Nigeria Major General Retd Mohammad Ashraf Saleem, while talking to LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Wednesday.

LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad and Executive Committee Members Mian Zahid Javaid, Kh Shahzeb Akram, Mehmood Ghaznavi, Shoaib Zahid Malik and Convener LCCI Committee on Pak-Africa business promotion Zafar Mehmood also spoke on the occasion.

The High Commissioner said that Nigerians want to establish LNG and Fertilizer Plants in collaboration with Pakistan so Pakistani businessmen should join hands with them to avail this opportunity. He said Nigeria has a tremendous potential for low tech Pakistani products therefore Pakistani businessmen dealing in low tech products should capture this opportunity without any further delay.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that the Pakistan’s business community also wanted to enhance bilateral trade relations with Nigeria. While noting the existing negligible volume of trade between the two countries‚ he said that the size and potential of the two countries should be fully exploited so as to translate it into economic terms.

He said Nigeria is one of the major member states of African Union but the downward trend in exports of Pakistan to Nigeria and overall downfall in bilateral trade is a matter of concern. He said that the business communities in the two countries need to find reasons of this trend and also take measures to turn around the situation.

The LCCI President said that Pakistan is capable of facilitating Nigerian market with better quality products at competitive rates. Pakistan can export rice, electrical appliances, autoparts etc. Farooq Iftikhar said that there is a dire need to identify more tradable products to enhance our mutual trade as Pakistan is known around the globe for its textile products, sports goods, surgical instruments, rice, carpets, footwear and so many other consumable items, which still need to be properly introduced in African markets.

He said that Market research should be conducted regarding the range of products and priority may be given to each other for import of products. He said frequent exchange of trade delegations and continuous liaison can be instrumental in strengthen our trade and investment relations. Major export items from Pakistan to Nigeria are medicament mixtures, cotton fabrics, woven fabric of synthetic fiber, tractors, garments, and electromedical apparatus etc. Items of imports from Nigeria to Pakistan comprise cotton, raw hides & skins, pharmaceutical products and articles of rubber etc.