Calabar — Relations between Nigeria and Republic of Cameroon have become stronger, as some significant steps have taken place in the past two years.Cameroon's Minister of Trade, Mr. Luc Magloire Mbarga, said this at the opening of the Cameroon Economic and Trade Week in the main bowl of the Cultural Centre, Calabar.
He attributed the rise to the October, 2008 meeting between President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and President Paul Biya of Cameroon, which culminated in the first Nigerian Trade and Cultural Week in Douala in March 2009.
Mbarga said the Cameroon Economic and Trade Week is a follow up to a promise that Cameroon would follow the move made by Nigeria by holding its own version in Nigeria later in the year, adding that the decision fell in line with resolutions to ratify economic unions between the two nations.
He said the Week would afford businessmen and women theopportunity to interact and share knowledge adding that time has come for the two countries to grow for the benefit of the people as the trade agreement between them is intended to make the duo one of the strongest trading partners in Africa.
The minister said both countries stand to gain greatly if they partner, because of their areas of comparative advantage than trading with overseas nations with what is available continentally. He also commended the two countries for the resolve to settle their differences peacefully.
Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa,represented by Mr. Augustine Adigwe, commended the Cameroon government and the organisers for the initiative which is aimed at promoting trade between the two countries, adding that the Nigerian Trade and Cultural Week held in Duoala, was a great event which became a catalystto ignite economic and cultural potentials of the two countries.
Udenwa said Nigeria's Vision 20:20:20 on industrial reform, which touches on increase in industrial productivity, promotion of the non-oil sector and promotion of export is aimed at creating employment and wealth, stating that Nigeria and Cameroon have a strong cordial relations.
In his welcome address, Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, in a welcome address, said there was need to create a conducive environment for trade between Nigeria and Cameroon through support for entrepreneurship,establishment of infrastructure like roads, water transportation, as well as enforcement of security to address critical areas to boost commerce and trade.
Imoke said Calabar would provide opportunities to interact,share ideas that would contribute to the growth and development of the two countries, as those involved would proffer ideas that would bring development for the collective growth of the nations.