REPORT ON THE 1ST SLOVENIA TRADE MISSION TO NIGERIA
09th March, 2016
The 1st Slovenia Trade Mission to Nigeria was organized by the Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia and in collaboration with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Niger State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture. The events were held in Abuja (FCT) on the 9th of March, 2016, and in Minna, Niger state, Nigeria on the 10th of March, 2016. It was concluded with a courtesy visit to Institutions and companies within Abuja (FCT) on the 11th of March, 2016.
The delegation was made up of 5 Slovenian companies and a Croatian company as well as two member staff of the Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce.
The first day of the event held at Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry was well attended by over 80 Nigerian companies, officials from the Nigerian governmental institutions, business organisations etc… In attendance was also former Ambassadors and Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Budapest, Hungary.
The event started at about 11 am with the national anthem of both Nigeria and Slovenia. It was followed by a welcome address by the president of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye who in his remarks, said that the chamber would deepen the partnership with Slovenia to increase trade in both countries, given the current economic growth experienced in both countries. He further said that, the Nigerian economy was too large to be ignored by any country interested to trade or invest, particularly in Africa.
Ejinkonye traced the proposed Nigeria/Slovenia trade relation dated back to 2015, when the Abuja Chamber drafted an MoU in a bid to foster a bilateral relations with the Slovenia- Nigeria Chamber of Commerce.
Hajja Gana Wakil, Deputy Director at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission who presented Investment opportunities in Nigeria also commended the effort of the Slovenia- Nigeria Chamber of commerce in leading the delegation to Nigeria. She added that the NIPC is equipped to facilitate interested Investors and businessmen from Slovenia to mitigate risks and do good business with good profit in the country.
The leader of the delegation, Mr. Fred Uduma in his keynote address said that the SNCC was determined to deepen the partnership with ACCI to facilitate trade, investment and promote opportunities between the countries with a view to increasing the trade volume. The president expressed concern that the vast trade opportunities in Nigeria were not being utilized. He said that the trade volume between Slovenian and Nigeria stood at 10.2 million Euros in 2014, adding that between January and June 2015, the volume stood at eight million Euros. He said the figures indicated that the vast trade opportunities were not being utilised and that the countries are not enjoying economic relations, adding that there was great need for improvement in the rate of trade volumes between both countries.
Uduma added that SNCC would provide the practical information and advice about Slovenian economy, business opportunities, and products of companies in the country.
He expressed optimism that the partnership with ACCI and other business organisations in the country would enable the business community of both countries have insights into available projects, trade and investment opportunities. Uduma encouraged both countries to engage each other in economic dialogue and bilateral negotiations.
Ambassador Dotun Adepoju, who was former Chargé d’affaires/Senior Counsellor at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Budapest, Hungary urged Nigeria and Slovenia to sign investment promotion and protection agreements to prevent the cost of trade between the two countries from rising. He said that given the enormous trade opportunities and disparity in laws of both countries, it was important to institute a working trade document to encourage trade and investment with Slovenia in the area of Mining and solid minerals development, waste management, Edudcation, Agriculture and Information Technology (IT).
In conclusion, he explained that the envisaged trade agreement when fully in place would define the terms and conditions of doing business in both countries.
The second session of the event was opened and closed with a presentation of the participating companies and was followed by a B2B and B2G meetings, coffee break, Networking and Lunch.
Present at this event Includes President, Portharcourt Chamber of Commerce, President, Nassarawa Chamber of Commerce, President, Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Chairman, Nigeria -China business council, Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, a Representative from Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Chief Regulatory Officer of NAFDAC and many more…
10th March, 2016
In Partnership with the Niger State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, The Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce with the delegation visited Minna, Niger State on the 10th of March, 2016.
The forum was well attended by over 60 business men and women and government officials from the state, The president of NCCIMA, Dr. Umar Ahmed Bakai commended the delegation for coming to Niger state. He expressed his commitment to forge a strong business partnership for mutual economic benefit with Slovenia through the Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of commerce. He further shared the economic potentials of the State in the area of Mining and Solid Minerals, Education, Agriculture and Energy.
Mr. Fred Uduma and the SNCC Country Director (Nigeria) Mr. Uche Udungwor respectively expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the business community and the membership of NCCIMA for their cooperation and partnership in the mission. Mr. Uduma in his remarks introduced Slovenia as a stable, vibrant democracy that offers a stimulating and low-risk business environment. Uduma said, Slovenia is a great place to visit or live or do business because of its beautiful natural landscapes, ancient historical sites and modern facilities, friendly and talented people and dynamic entrepreneurs. According to him, SNCC and partners were challenged to build a stronger foundation to facilitate trade, investment and promote opportunities that exist between the two countries, thereby increasing the trade volume and maximizing profit.
The second session was followed by the introduction of participating companies and company presentations, B2B and B2G meetings, coffee break, Lunch and official visit the Executive Governor of Niger State who was represented by the Niger State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Muhammad Ketso and six (6) State Commissioners.
11th March, 2016
The final day of the event began with personal and individually arranged B2B meetings, courtesy visits to Government Institutions, Media houses and companies within The Abuja municipality. (FCT)
In Conclusion, the whole idea of the event, its organization and the outcomes were highly welcomed and applauded by the participants as well as partners. It was an investment in the right direction from the companies’ side and an enlightenment for their quest to doing business in Nigeria. For our Chamber, it was a goal achieved in building, facilitating and promoting the Slovenia-Nigeria economic trade relations and opening up channels through which genuine and profitable business could be exchanged between both countries.
Our Recommendation is that such event should take place annually in both countries. As a follow up to the just concluded event, the Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Partners are putting together a High Level Business Forum that will take place in Ljubljana in October 2016. The theme of the event is: SLOVENIA-NIGERIA B2B FORUM.
We further recommend that the Slovenian government, relevant Institutions/agencies and other business organizations do support the effort of the Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce financially and otherwise to help this active and vibrant organization to effectively and efficiently execute it’s activities aimed at developing greater business relations between both countries.
We know the Land! We have the Team! We have the Knowledge & Capacity! We need your Support…
President, Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce
14 April, 2016