The Bilateral relations between Nigeria and Bangladesh could generate huge economic impact if massive investments were made in the country, an official of African Centre said.
Mr Roberts Achanya, Director-General (DG), African Centre for Asia Plus Bangladesh Studies (AfCA +BS) made the call on Monday in Lokoja.
The director general expressed gladness that the Nigeria Bangladesh – Business and Technology Forum (NBBTF), another accredited trade group, offered the ample opportunity for such investments.
“Although Nigeria is already trading with Bangladesh on very small scale, Bangladeshi businessmen and women should, through Joint Ventures, invest massively in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, ICT, food-processing, and education sectors of Nigeria.
“Other areas of investment include ocean-going vessels, light engineering, leather and plastic goods which have been identified as products with huge potentials in the Nigerian market.
“I strongly believe that investments or forging strong commercial links between the two nations can bring about huge profits for both investors/exporters for their desired economic growth and development, ” he said.
Achanya, who is also one of Nigeria’s leading Public and Private Partnership (PPP) subnational promoters and facilitators, urged Bangladesh to overcome mindsets about Nigeria and Africa, which he said largely remained unexplored.
Achanya said a study undertook by the AfCA+BS in 2022, generally summarised that that both countries could facilitate better and expanded bilateral trade and investments that could attract the desired economic growth to both sides.
According to him, “this can be by continuous high level engagement by the governments, private sector and researchers; mutual respect and reciprocity; articulating goals and weaknesses, and practical business-to-business networking.”
He disclosed that already there were progressive growths in areas of pharmaceuticals/health, finished Clothing, Textiles and Garments (CTG), ceramics, iron mongering, electricals and education in favour of Bangladesh.
“Therefore, Nigeria needs to take advantage of the concentric diversification initiative of the current National Development Plan 2021-2025, to scale up export to Bangladesh in sectors of comparative advantage.
“As at 2012, trade between the two countries stood at $14 million but to boost it, the Bangladesh Tariff Commission prepared a feasibility study in 2014 for the benefit of signing a new Free/Preferential trade agreements with African states.
“Nevertheless, the need for expanding trade and investments, anchored on a confident and willing private sector, will allow both countries to align incentives and create the binational interest for the desired goals,” he said.