This year’s Lagos International Trade Fair organised the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) opened on Friday 7/11/2014 in Lagos with companies from the US, China, Singapore, Japan and other Asian countries featuring at the fair.Hundreds of local manufacturers, small and medium enterprises are participating and displaying mostly Nigerian made household products and consumables at the fair.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the President of the LCCI, Mr. Remi Bello reiterated the commitment of the chamber to encouraging a diversified and sustainable economy that is conducive to both local and foreign investments.

Bello noted that the theme of the fair, ‘Promoting the Nigerian economy as a preferred investment destination,’ was chosen to underscore the critical importance of creating an enabling environment to attract new investments and grow existing ones.

He explained that it was also meant to underline the imperative of building an economy that was diversified and sustainable.

“There is perhaps no better time than now to build a sustainable and diversified economy. Oil price is currently at a four-year low of $83 per barrel and this would call for major adjustments in both public and private sectors of the economy.

“It is gratifying to note that the new status of Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa and the 26th in the world has generated tremendous interest among investors globally.

“We should leverage these favorable sentiments to attract more investments, diversify our economy and make it more sustainable. The platform of Lagos International Trade Fair serves to promote the realization of this objective,” he said.

According to him, the challenge to achieving economic diversification and transformation is to fix the impediments to productivity and competitiveness in the economy.

Such impediments, he said included poor state of infrastructure, especially public power supply; challenge of substandard and fake products in the country, poor state of roads; high cost of and limited access to funds; inconsistency of policies and growing insecurity.

“If we tackle these constraints, we would encourage domestic investments, attract foreign capital and facilitate the realization of the enormous potential in the Nigerian economy,” he added.