The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, yesterday expressed concern over the decrease in volume of trade between Nigeria and South Korea.
According to him, trade between both countries fell from $5 million in 2018 to $1.3million in 2019.
Speaking when he received the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, in his office, Adebayo noted that both countries had shared strong economic and investment ties with over 20 Korean companies, including Samsung and Hyundai Heavy Industries, presently operating in the country.
He stressed the need for the South Korean embassy, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and his ministry to work closely towards improving the volume of trade between the two countries.
Specifically, the minister called on Korean investors to take advantage of the country's involvement in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to invest in Nigeria so that they would have access to the large market on the African continent.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Ifedayo Sayo, the minister told his visitors to encourage investors from South Korea to invest in the new special economic zones established by the ministry in each of the six geographical zones of the country as well as the existing free trade zones in Calabar, Lekki, Kanop among others to boost investment.
Adebayo listed efforts made by the federal government to attract foreign investment to the country to include establishment of One-Stop Investment Centre to provide 48 hours delivery to prospective investors; ports upgrading, including streamlining of agencies operating at the ports; banking reforms initiative to support real sector, and the establishment of special economic zones in pursuit of Nigeria's industrialisation agenda.
However, Young-Chae, promised to deepen the trade relations between both countries, as well as support government programmes.
Meanwhile, addressing a delegation of National Defence College of Tanzania during a visit to the ministry, Adebayo said the federal government goal would be achieved through the development of a holistic industrial policy/programme to facilitate backward integration and domestication of production.
He said the government would create an enabling business environment to attract and retain investments, as well as facilitate trade and market access, especially by successfully participating AfCFTA.
He also, told the delegation led by Brig. General M. A. Mhagama that the government was fast-tracking the establishment of the special economic zones across the country to drive the industrialisation programme by increasing the concentration of high-quality infrastructure and providing fiscal incentives for local producers in the zones.