The French Government has said its volume of bilateral trade with Nigeria in year 2020 dropped to $2.3 billion dollar.
The French Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Mr Frank Riester, disclosed this during his meeting with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Abuja as part of his two day official visit to Nigeria.
Riester said the volume dropped from $4.5 billion dollars in 2019 due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We are optimistic of the future when the crisis will be ending because we have many companies that have settled here. We want a win-win partnership between the two countries.
“We have 100 companies that are settled in Nigeria, representing 10,000 people working in these companies and we want to increase our investments in Nigeria.”
Riester added that the French Government wanted to help in the development of different states, by investing both private and public sector, to deepen the relationship between the two countries.
He said that as the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France.
The minister said that the French Government was also putting in place measures that would allow more Nigeria companies to operate and invest in France.
“Tomorrow I will meet some Nigeria companies. Some of them have already invested in France, others are willing to invest in the country.
“These companies will be invited to a specific meeting in Paris in June where President Emmanuel Macron will welcome many companies all over the world and some of the companies will be from Nigeria, because we want more Nigeria investment in France.”
Riester added that the France government was also putting in place policies that would encourage more Nigeria investment in France.
He added that the France government also want to assist Nigeria to tackle insecurity.
The Chairman of the NGF, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, commended the France government for its interest in Nigeria, especially states of the Federation.
Fayemi, represented by Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, described the meeting aimed at strengthen the economic bi-laterial relationship between Nigeria and France as fruitful.
He said that the meeting was to seek ways of France collaboration and investment with Nigeria and state governments.