• Tony Igele

Nigeria, Indonesia Strengthen business ties

Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo State, speaking at the event invited the Indonesian business forum to move to other parts Nigeria and specially, Edo State

As part of efforts to grow stronger economic ties between Nigeria and Indonesia, six companies signed business agreements on Monday, during an Indonesia-Nigeria Business Forum in Lagos.

The agreements were signed between PT Kareem International with Asanita Investment Limited (bio-ethanol industry project); Indonesia Eximbank with Tolaram Group; Indonesia Eximbank with Nigeria Eximbank; PT Pertamina with Subsidiary NNPC; Air Manour with Jeisjosh Pharmaceutical and Food Limited, and Air Manour with Bona Ventura.

The business forum themed ‘Making Nigeria as the trade hub in West Africa’ convened by the Ministry of Trade of the Federal Republic of Indonesia in collaboration with Indonesian Embassy in Abuja is the second of its kind in barely two months.

Leading a 20-man business delegation from Indonesia, Enggartiasto Lukita, minister of trade of the Republic of Indonesia in his speech, said his government in taking advantage of the fact that Nigeria was the most promising business city in Africa by bringing in investors into key sectors of the economy.

Harry Purwanto, ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria, in his welcome address said the event had been put together for interested investors from both countries to get relevant information, to network and meet new business partners and also sign bilateral agreements.

Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo State, speaking at the event invited the Indonesian business forum to move to other parts Nigeria and specially, Edo State, which according to him, was centre of networking in the country in terms of transportation, electricity and gas, which all pass through the state.

“We are opening up our agricultural space in an organised manner, because that is what will attract investors. Also, smaller businesses will not survive with the big ones, and so our emphasis is on large estate farms, from which the smaller ones can feed off,” explained the governor.

He went on to talk about the similarities between Edo state and Indonesia, stating that Edo is the home of the oil palm from where Malaysia got its first oil palm and subsequently Indonesia too. He also asked the Indonesian business community to bring back to Edo state the technology and progress made in oil palm in Indonesia.

As part of the event, Adhi Narto of Dufil, an Indonesia company and makers of Indomie instant noodles doing business in Nigeria, and Charles Okwuy of Decent Link, a Nigeria company doing business in Indonesia, both shared their success stories, encouraging other investors to take advantage of the enormous opportunities available in both countries through the right channel.

The forum had in attendance, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, former governor of old Imo state, two time foreign minister and former senator; representatives of the governors of Lagos and Oyo states respectively; members of NACCIMA Lagos; Emmanuel Nwakpadolu, representing NACCIMA Aba; representatives from Eko Atlantic project; Shehu Sanusi, Jigawa Chamber of Commerce; Saheed Muritala, Kwara Chamber of commerce; representatives from Indonesian business community, and other high level players in the economy.

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