TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

US stresses Importance of doing business in Nigeria, others

Friday, 14 June 2013 Published: | Abiodun Oluwarotimi

Source: Leadership (Nigeria)

The United States government yesterday stressed the need and importance for foreign investors in the country and across the world to do businesses in Nigeria and all other parts of the African continent.

Speaking at ongoing African-US Trade Exhibition held at the Baltimore Convention Center, the Governor of Maryland State, Mr. Martin O'Malley, maintained that doing businesses with Nigeria and the entire Africa was very important to the United States-African community and the United States-Africa trade, which he said had grown to $21 Billions in the last decade.

During the event organised by Navi Group, the governor further stressed that such business investment with the African continent was also a valuable opportunity for the Maryland state and its entire businesses.

Represented by the Deputy Secretary of the state on Policy and External Affairs, Mr. Rajan Natarajan, the Maryland governor noted that Nigerians and the African-American community as a whole in the State of Maryland have been immensely contributing to the economic and social development of the country, adding that "Indeed, African-American community and Entrepreneurs play important roles and contribute to moving Maryland forward"

He pointed at the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that was recently signed by his government and its Ondo state counterpart as a way to promote diplomatic and trade relationships in the United States and Nigeria.

He said: "Most African economies remain largely agrarian, i.e, dependent on agriculture and other natural resources as the major source of foreign exchange and employement. However, many African countries are still striving to difersify their income base creating numerous opportunities for trade and investment by interested foreign partners.

"Currently, major exports are agricultural commodities and minerals and import demand centers on manufactured products. Thanks in part to the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and policy reforms in Africa. Some countries, like Lesotho and Uganda, have increased their textiles exports. Other countries have diversified into higher value agricultural products"

Mr. Rajan Natarajan pressed further that opportunities for trade and investment in Africa cut across various sectors, adding that on one hand, farmers in developing countries face pressure to increase output through investment in their small landholdings to intensify production in a sustainable manner.

He said there was the scope for agricultural suppliers in the US to provide inputs like fertilizer and light machinery to African economies.

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