Today’s Business breakfast that was organised by Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia and Business in Africa Pays aimed to highlight Nigeria’s business environment and opportunities for cooperation with Slovenia.
The acting director of International Relations Department at Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Ante Milevoj, in his opening speech expressed satisfaction with the interest of Slovenian business community to do business with Nigeria, which is extremely interesting potential market, although the current Slovenian exports to Nigeria in 2014 stood at € 10 million, while exports from Nigeria to Slovenia reached only € 2,000. He stressed the fact that the CCIS in partnership SNCC will continue with its efforts to help Slovenian companies seeking to enter Nigerian market with information activities, business events, networking and integration, as well as with organizing business delegation to Nigeria which is expected for this autumn. Fred Uduma, president of the Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the participants and declared the business briefing as an introduction to International trade in Nigeria designed to inform and to share insights about Importing and Exporting to Nigeria enabling companies or individuals interested in exporting to Nigeria to understand the processes, legislation’s, taxes, customs, certifications, Import and Export prohibitions and Licencing. Mr Uduma was critical about the small-scale of business cooperation between the two countries taking into account the 2014 trade volume between the two countries. He said that Slovenian companies need more information and support while making business contacts, for which was ultimately intended today’s business breakfast briefing. He emphasized on the huge business opportunities for both export and import from Nigeria. In his closing remarks, he said making the right decision when entering Import Export trade in Nigeria is paramount to your understanding of the sector and it’s regulations.
Estelle Mann, who works for a UK company Intertek and coordinator of SONCAP – Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Program presented the organization SON and program SONCAP. She stressed that Exporters/Importers trading with Nigeria need to comply with the requirement of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Program in order for their goods to clear customs, failure to do so can result in severe delays in goods clearance, penalties or even shipments being returned to shipper. The program which was first implemented in 2005 and new directives in 2013 is a set of conformity assessment and verification procedures applicable to all products imported in Nigeria except those under the exemption list. Intertek is the longest serving Conformity Assessment Program partner and approved by SON Nigeria to issue product certificates and certificates of conformity for goods exported to Nigeria.
Stephanie E. Trpkov, Management Consultant at Strategic Corporate Communications spoke about building a successful trans-national partnership between Nigeria and South-Eastern Europe. She stressed that companies, willing to enter Nigerian market, in addition to knowledge of legislation and tax regulation, customs procedures and financing, have to pay attention to cultural differences which can because of a lack of understanding sometimes complicate cooperation. Companies should consult embassies, chambers of commerce, business networks etc. for information and verification of potential business partners.
Damir Kapitanovič, head of export at Wine Cellar Goriška Brda presented their experience of exporting to Nigeria. He said Nigeria is interesting market for them as wine is the fastest growing product among alcohol beverages. He described cooperation with local partner and mentioned high import duties and lengthy procedures for obtaining relevant documents for exporting to Nigeria. The event was supported by Goriška Brda.
During the Q&A session, participants pointed out in particular the problem of obtaining entry visas for Nigerian citizens. Mr Remigius Obioma Nzewuji, Head of Chancery and Senior Counsellor Nigerian embassy to Budapest said that in current circumstances when Slovenia has no embassy in Nigeria, Nigerian business partners should explore other ways to acquire it (travelling to other schengen countries and visiting Slovenia). He advised on particular questions of Slovenian IT company.
The event was closed with interaction among participants and a test of Goriška Brda finest champagne.