The Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shameen Ahsan has called for strengthening of its international relations with Nigeria to harness investment potential that abound in both countries.
Ahsan made the call on October 2, 2019 in Abuja at the closing of the 2019 Abuja International Trade Fair organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
The envoy said that its mission was relatively new while its two-way trade with Nigeria was not impressive and yet to be significant.
Ahsan said that Bangladesh, with a population of 165 million people
was the second largest producer of ready-made garments in the world after China.
According to him, Bangladesh is also exporting pharmaceutical products to more than 150 countries.
“We are delighted to be part of the fair, this is the first time Bangladesh participated in the ACCI international trade fair, we are happy for the interest the fair has generated.
“We tried to display as much as possible our exhibits. Nigerians can benefit by investing in Bangladesh.
“Attending the trade fair gives us an opportunity to showcase our investment potential and interact with representatives and stakeholders from other countries to find out what they can offer,” he said.
Describing Nigeria as the sixth largest oil producing country in the world and largest democracy in Africa, he called for collaboration because of some similarities and commonalities shared by the two nations including colonial path.
Earlier, the ACCI Director-General, Mrs Tonia Shoyole said the ACCI took a great care in planning the event, adding that the next edition would be totally different.
“We will be departing from the building of wooden exhibiting stands and probably be using steel as permanent structure to give everybody some level of comfort.
“It will be a highly innovating one, bringing businesses into Nigeria that would collaborate with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
“Naturally, fairs are not only for selling but for business networking and relationships, that is what we will dwell on next year,” she said.
On low patronage and publicity, Shoyole said that it could be because of the state of economy in the country, adding that 60 per cent of its 2019 AITF budget was for publicity.
“The state of the economy actually reflected on the patronage,” she said.
Some Ghanaian exhibitors had earlier complained of the seizure of their goods at Seme Border while trying to come into Nigeria.
The Ghanaian exhibitors complained that their goods were seized for three days without intervention from ACCI which affected their participation in the fair.
The director-general noted that ACCI engaged with other stakeholders to see that there was a hitch-free entry into Nigeria.
“I personally wrote a letter on their behalf to the Comptroller in charge of Seme Border, I also engaged the Executive Secretary of the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry to be on standby in Seme Border.
“We did all we could do but we should also understand the issues concerning border closure at the moment,” she noted.
She thanked its esteemed exhibitors, both foreign and local for their loyalty, patience and sacrifices toward the successful hosting of the 2019 trade fair.
Shoyole said that the purpose of the fair was to promote accelerated development of commerce and industry.
She also commended the strong innovations noticed on some exhibitor’s stands including government agencies and MSMEs which indicated that they had embarked on a lot of innovations in the country.
In order to further encourage the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as the driver of economy, Shoyole urged governments to provide conducive environment that would make the sector to thrive.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of certificates of excellence to 16 deserving fair exhibitors, including the Bangladesh High Commission and Adamawa state government.
The fair which held from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2, with the theme “Remodeling MSMEs Financing: Options and Solution.”