Karachi, 11 Oct 2023:Amidst concerns about the suboptimal trade volume between Nigeria and Pakistan, despite sturdy political and diplomatic ties, High Commissioner of Nigeria, Mohammed Bello Abioye, expressed a judicious optimism about reaching a US$1 billion trade volume in the near future, as per a press release from the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). This anticipation comes in light of recent discussions and gradual resolutions to various issues impeding trade, such as lack of adequate information, foreign policy matters, connectivity issues, and visa processing delays.
During his farewell visit to the KCCI upon concluding his diplomatic tenure in Pakistan, High Commissioner Abioye acknowledged that the trade volume has begun to see improvements. With the substantive populations of both Nigeria and Pakistan and the burgeoning cooperation between the two nations, there’s substantial potential to augment trade and investment collaboration. However, realizing the desired outcomes requires bridging existing gaps and enabling the business communities of both countries to collaboratively explore numerous trade and investment opportunities.
High Commissioner Abioye also underscored the imperative of maximizing the exchange of trade delegations between Nigeria and Pakistan, thereby identifying new avenues to enhance trade and investment cooperation. Additionally, exploring the prospects of initiating joint ventures either in Nigeria or Pakistan could be economically advantageous for both nations. Recognizing Karachi as the financial and commercial epicenter of Pakistan, he articulated the consistent effort of the Nigerian High Commission to maintain close affiliations with KCCI, as it plays a pivotal role in contributing to economic development and enhancing trade and investment with friendly nations.
Regarding visa processing, he shared that the Nigerian High Commission has institutionalized a policy to process all visa applications within a 48-hour window and has been successfully issuing hundreds of visas to Pakistanis within this timeframe. He also expressed a desire to witness a similar visa issuance approach from Pakistani authorities for Nigerians.
The High Commissioner accentuated that Nigeria and Pakistan offer numerous opportunities for each other’s businesses, with foreign investors in Nigeria permitted full repatriation of profits along with various other incentives, including reduced taxes, tax holidays, and numerous facilities.
President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, commended the High Commissioner on his successful tenure in Pakistan and acknowledged his significant role in fostering business and trade relations between the two countries. Highlighting Pakistan’s Look Africa Policy, Sheikh posited that it could be a catalyst in enhancing trade and fortifying economic relations with Nigeria, thereby facilitating the business communities of both countries to explore new markets and attain bilateral economic integrations.
Sheikh emphasized the necessity of establishing robust trade and economic connections via the exchange of trade delegations and perpetual engagement with businesses. He expressed the substantial potential for Pakistan to export an array of products to Nigeria and other African markets, suggesting that Nigerian investors explore the vibrant investment opportunities across diverse sectors in Pakistan. Sheikh also advocated for reciprocal participation in trade fairs and exhibitions as a potent means for both countries’ business communities to discover new trade pathways and promotion strategies.
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