France Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, is presently visiting Nigeria as part of efforts to strengthen the trade ties between both countries.
The visit is a follow up on the priorities set by France President, Emmanuel Macron, during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018, and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.
According to a statement from the French government, as the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of $4.5 billion in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).
It explained that the Minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris, expected to hold on May 18.
"The objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors. In this regard, the Minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector.
"He will meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France," the statement added.
The Minister is also expected to open the, "Choose Africa" conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.