Abuja — Nigeria and Canada, Monday, resolved to strengthen trade and investment ties between both countries by leveraging on areas of competitive and comparative advantage.
The two countries also agreed on strategies to double the volume of trade between them to $6 billion by 2015 just as Canada disclosed plans to review its visa processing time to aid trade and investment with Nigeria. Nigeria's value of merchandise trade with Canada stood at about $2.7 billion in 2011.
The decisions were reached during the Nigeria-Canada Bi-National Commission meeting in Abuja, co-chaired by the Nigerian Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga; and the Canadian Minister for International Trade, Honourable Ed Fast.
Speaking during the meeting, Aganga said that Nigeria and Canada would significantly enhance their socio-economic ties through the Bi-National Commission by working on mutually beneficial growth projects along areas of competitive and comparative advantages.
He said: "Nigeria is one of Canada's largest trading partners in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011, Nigeria's value of merchandise trade with Canada stood at $2.7 billion; consisting of $2.5 billion in Nigeria's exports to Canada and $199 million import.
"The bulk of Nigeria's export to Canada, however, revolves around oil and gas. It is therefore imperative for us to strengthen our relationship by widening our export into the non-oil sector."
Aganga noted that the meeting provided a veritable platform for the two countries to review their socio-economic progress and chart a new roadmap for increased trade and investment and enhanced economic growth on both sides.
"The establishment of the Nigeria-Canada Bi-National Commission, NCBNC, to further facilitate and strengthen the bilateral cooperation between our two countries is indeed an initiative worthy of commendation," the minister said.