Lagos — The Federal Government has been charged to maximise the vast economic opportunities in both Nigeria and Malysia by deepening the bilateral economic ties between the two countries.
The call was made by the president of the Nigerian-Malaysia Business Council (NMBC), Dr Michael Aderohunmu, in a speech he delivered during the Malaysia Day, held recently at the Malaysian High Commission, Abuja.
He called on the Federal Government to speedily initiate high level talks with its Malaysian counterpart, adding "NMBC wants the government to start negotiation, to build a strong and high level team that comprises representatives of the Presidency, Ministry of Trade and Investments, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, NEPC and the NMBC."
Aderohunmu called for a well- articulated policy approach by the Federal Government so that Malaysia can increase investment in various sectors of the Nigerian economy, adding that NMBC was also encouraging Nigerians to invest in the very organised productive system in Malaysia's processing industries for backward integration.
"For Nigeria to negotiate business with confidence and trade in particular, there is need to affirm comparative-advantage in a sector that the country has the potential to create millions of jobs for skilled workers as well as generate sustainable income.
Because of the specificity of trade relationship, this will also lead Nigeria to acquire new techniques in modern agriculture- led economic diversification to achieve accelerated result in backwards integration for agriculture-industry and forward linkages in production, processing, storage, distribution and marketing."
Aderohunmu added:"A part of NMBC mandate is to promote bilateral relationship between our two countries to develop robust cultural, economic and technical cooperation. It is for this statutory role that NMBC partners with NEPC on Nigeria- Malaysia Trade Corridor. Nigeria needs more investments for agricultural processing products to drive value addition process in the sector.
A break into new markets is the main objective of establishing the Nigeria- Malaysia Trade Corridor. It is strategically aligned with the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) and the World Bank agenda. The aim is to create instruments to open markets and unlock investments, to develop and strengthen trade relationship between the two countries."
The NMBC President explained further that the trade corridor will make Nigeria the trade & investment destination for agriculture and mineral resources for the Malaysian business community, stressing that initiative will also stimulate vibrancy in workforce to Nigerians back home.
"Lots of Nigerians in Malaysia, who have acquired skills in their various areas of specialisation, will have the opportunity to contribute as well.
"NMBC also realises that the Nigerian economy needs competitiveness in its Internal capacity for business development more than it has ever done before, to achieve economic sustained development model specific to the nation's economic structure, "he further stressed.