Being text of speech by President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, CON., SAN at the Nigeria-Vietnam Institutional and Trade Mission to ECOWAS held in Abuja on 5th July, 2018
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Le Danh Vinh (designation might have changed) once said: “We believe that with the supports from the two governments and dynamic activities of companies, the Vietnam – Nigeria cooperation, especially in the fields of economy, investment, commerce and industry, will develop in both depth and dimension to mark a new era of effective cooperation between Vietnam and Nigeria in the 21st century.”
The economic ties between Vietnam and Nigeria has moved from raw items export to processed and semi-processed items thereby deepening ties between the two friendly nations.
With the establishment of the Nigeria-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NVCCI) more economic activities as well as cultural ties have been recorded.
It has however been argued that in order to boost trade, industry and investment, the governments of the two countries need to address issues bordering on immigration and visas, as well as on ease of doing business.
There is therefore an urgent need to boost bilateral ties between the two countries by exploring new areas of business.
Volume of trade in major commodities
In 2017, the NVCCI said, the total volume of trade between Nigeria and Vietnam stood at $303.84 million out of which Nigeria exported to Vietnam $232.65 million, mainly raw materials (94.75%), such as cashew nuts, wood and raw materials, etc. and imported from Vietnam $71.18 million, including mobile phones electronics, textiles, tobacco, plastic products, chemicals, machinery and spare parts.
Nigeria also has a great demand for farm products such as machinery, fertilizers and pesticides. The Nigerian market is not too restrictive to imports for these kinds of production and consumption. These goods are strong on production in Vietnam.
Impressive journey so far
According to statistics from the Vietnamese General Department of Customs (GDC), the two-way trade between Vietnam and Nigeria expands year after year. Especially, following the Vietnam – Nigeria Business and Investment Forums held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in October 2008.
In addition to the traditional trading commodities, we should be ready to expand into Oil and gas, maritime, mining, construction, electricity, agriculture, cement, transportation, engineering, telecommunications and education, amongst several others.
In 1980, Vietnam and Nigeria resumed political and economic relations.
Vietnam exported fibres and materials to Nigeria and imported cassava, cashew nuts, peanuts and coca from the African nation. The two-way trade revenue stood at US$62 million a year on average.
Need for value addition and more vista
Vietnamese enterprises need to cooperate in the production and processing of agricultural products in Nigeria through value-addition.
This needs to be done in a sustainably win-win and long-term cooperation.
The two countries also need to elevate their relations, step up the exchange of visits at all levels, and seek specific joint projects in order to maximally tap from their potentials.
Both countries have to equally create favorable business environments to attract their businesspeople to pour money into sectors of the respective country’s strength.
Activities such as what we are witnessing today are critical to our collective efforts in the existence of our citizens.
We should also be interested in negotiating for direct air linkage.
There should be an increased cooperation with Vietnam in agriculture especially in the transfer of farming machineries and plant varieties to the country.
Cooperation opportunities with Vietnam in trade and education will also open up opportunities for both countries.
Vietnam and Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry
We wish to use this forum to advocate for stronger partnership with Vietnam.
I remember in my earlier encounter with the Ambassador, His Excellency Pharm. Ahn Tuan, I made a passionate case for Nigeria trade ties with this great nation to be made to reflect in many different fields.
Towards that, we have developed our template and will soon be presenting it to the Embassy for consideration. These seminars are important events for discussing measures to boost economic potentialities in both nations.
Generally, my belief is that the bilateral cooperative ties should be done with a touch that will successfully drive the nations out of economic crisis. It will also build trust in development prospects.
Nigeria is a huge market for Vietnamese businesses. It is therefore an advantage they need to take to make sustainable inroads and expand their economic prowess into the continent.
We have done remarkably well so far and it has to be sustained and in fact scaled up.
ACCI is willing, ready and capable of fast tracking activities that will lead to more investments in these critical areas.
See Nigeria as your home and do feel free to contact us in order to facilitate your activities.
The embassies in the two nations needs to work closely for the benefit of businesses.
Prince Kayode SAN, CON, the President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry contributes this piece from Abuja.