The Economic Counselor of France in Nigeria, Francis Widmer, yesterday, said the trade volume between the two countries has exceeded 1.8 billion euros in the first quarter of 2017.
Pledging that there are plans to further increase the trending numbers before the end of the year, he disclosed that the subsisting statistics is a progression of about 5.5 per cent growth in compared to 2016.
He noted that the economy in 2016 was not a good one, stressing that very soon a 40-man delegation of businessmen would be visiting Nigeria to further explore business opportunities in energy, economic, security, cultural, infrastructure, agriculture and oil and gas.
Speaking at Press Conference organised as apart of activities to mark 2017 French Week in Lagos, Widmer pointed out that one of the major challenges hindering prospective French investors from entering Nigerian market was their assessment of unfavourable business climate in the country.
"The current relationship is better than what it was in 2016, when Nigeria faced strong economic recession and security challenges. We now have a strong network of business investors in Nigeria, the French Development Agency, the French/Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), all in the efforts to promote trades and buildmutual relationship especially in finding local business partners in Nigeria", he stated.
The Consul General of France, Laurent Polonceaux, said one of the significant features of this year's French Week is the Economic Summit, which would gather key business and governmental figures from France and Nigeria with the aim of discussing key issues that affect the business climate in Nigeria.
The event, he stated would produce a communiqué that would be sent to relevant government agencies on pertinent issues discussed and solutions preferred.
The focus of this year's economic summit is: "The Nigeria Power Challenge and the Ease of doing Business in Nigeria".The summit is expected to have the Honorable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, key governmental figures in the area of power in Nigeria, The Ambassador of France to Nigeria/ The Consul General of the French Consulate, key French and Nigeria business brands in the power sector, among others".
The Chairperson of the French Week Committee, Carole Boissier said the activities include; the wine Beaujolais Nouveau (wine tasting) which is celebrated all over the world with the objective to unveil the new set of wines produced in France, Interactive session with key French brands with the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange for the purpose of company listing and the sounding ceremony of the close of trade by the Consul General of France.
Boissier added that the celebration would climax with a Gala Dinner. The occasion, she said is expected to bring together representatives from the French Embassy, the French Consulate, Key government functionaries, representatives from all member companies amongst other."The wine tasting will heralds the official kick off of the French Week in an atmosphere of celebration, Business Networking, music and dance.
As part of the side attraction, there would be a live band, live vocal session, comedy, dance competition, raffle draw, and showcase of French and Nigerian fashion", she said.