All is set for the hosting of the National Trade and Investment Summit 2020 slated for November 3, 2020 at Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos titled, “HARNESSING THE POTENTIALS OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT FOR NATIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY,” organized by TradePower Global Communications in conjunction with Ndi-Igbo Amaka Progressive Association, the umbrella body of main Markets in Lagos.
According to the organizers, the main aim of the Summit is to brainstorm on the need to create a conducive environment for the pursuit of trade, industry, investment and other economic activities of interest to the private sector.
It noted that the epoch-making summit also in conjunction with numerous media partners is specifically designed to provide participants with essential knowledge that will create flexibility in their business environment, adding, “ With a rare assembly of quintessential speakers, iron-disciplined participants, and industry executives from trade, industry, and Investment, the Summit promise an exciting opportunity for knowledge, networking, and business development.”
The organizers further noted, “Over the years, African countries and the world at large have acknowledged the importance of trade facilitation and have signed numerous trade facilitation inclusive policies and agreements at bilateral, sub-regional, and regional levels. However, most of these initiatives, despite being robust and ambitious have yielded very limited benefits. The latest foreign trade report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals that Nigeria’s foreign trade dropped to N8.3 trillion from N10.12 trillion amounting to a reduction of 18% in Q1 2020. Analysts have reported that it is not an indication of an improved economy because the country still has anti-business policies after all.”
Also speaking about the event, Chief Operations Officer Mr Omenihu Alfred fibmn, explained that the lead consultants believe that time is ripe to integrate Nigerian traders who are key players in the sector into major trade policies, challenges, and investment opportunities in the sector, especially with the signing of The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which when fully implemented, will create a single market for goods and services by removing existing trade barriers across Africa., affirming, “The agreement is expected to boost regional trade by reducing tariffs and allowing companies to expand and enter new markets.”
He noted that theCommissioner for Trade and Industry, AUC, Albert Muchanga, revealed that 42 percent of the AfCFTA is made up of manufacturing, stating that manufacturing stands as a key cluster to enhance capacity with a focus on value addition. Muchanga said the focus of the deal is to boost industrialization and ensure integration of the African continent.”
Continuing, he said that, as efforts are being made by the present administration to address the current challenges with a view to promoting efficiency and industrial harmony, there is an absolute complementary need for an exhaustive interaction and exchange of ideas and opinions between the government and the stakeholders.
“The event will not only create the platform for the amicable resolution of all existing issues of conflict among the stakeholders but will also help the government in evolving the right policies and measures that can stimulate economic growth, which would also be seen to be stakeholder’s friendly.”
“Apart from our numerous media partners that would give the event wide coverage, participants and representations will also be drawn from manufacturers, members of the academia, shippers, diplomatic corps, freight forwarders and from the highest levels of decision-making in government and business, with ample opportunity for one-on-one interaction.”
He explained that Ndigboamaka Progressive Association, the umbrella body of major market Associations in Lagos has been at the forefront, propagating the gospel of inclusiveness that is the inclusion of traders in Governance and policy decisions especially as it concerns traders. The Association is non-partisan but mostly throws its weight behind any political group that’s willing to partner and protect the interest of the trading community.
According to Hon Comrade Chinedu Ukatu, the Secretary-General, the Association has been partnering with key government agencies mostly those that facilitate trade, also sensitizing the government on the need to see traders as FORMAL SECTOR rather than being addressed as INFORMAL SECTOR, based on the enormous contributions to the growth of the economy.