Partners PwC to explore trade opportunities
If the Federal Government can enhance the ease of doing business in the country, bilateral ties between Nigeria and the United Kingdom may hit £11.6 billion by 2030 through non-oil exports and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
According to a latest report by PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC) titled, ‘Seizing the Opportunity: An economic assessment of key sectors of opportunity for UK business in Nigeria’, UK’s non-oil exports to Nigeria could account for £7.1 billion by 2030, up from £1.9 billion in 2014, while its FDI footprint could increase to £4.5 billion from £1 billion over the same period.
Indeed, the report, which was produced by PwC on the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, highlights the opportunities that exist in Nigeria for UK businesses and provides guidance for trade and investment in Nigeria.
The report identified six goods and services exports that will offer UK businesses the greatest potential for growth.
They include, machinery and transport equipment; manufactured goods; chemical and related products; telecommunication and information services; transportation and travel; and intellectual property.
It also identified three sectors that will provide the most promising FDI opportunities for UK businesses, as technology, media and telecommunication; retail and consumer products; and business and financial services.
In the context of BREXIT – the UK’s recent vote to leave European Union – the UK Trade Envoy to Nigeria, John Howell (MP), described the report as useful in the UK’s bid to strengthen trade relations with Nigeria and other countries.
Howell said BREXIT will not reduce the UK’s trade relations with Nigeria but would rather increase its importance.
He said: “I don’t think BREXIT will change the trade relationship with Nigeria, I think you’ve got to remember that my appointment as the Prime Minister’s trade envoy pre-dates BREXIT and it shows how important the relations between Nigeria and Britain was even then. So all BREXIT has done is that it has increased the importance of that relationship. Britain is open for business. It may have left the European Union, but it hasn’t left Europe.”
“The report is very useful in that it highlights so much about how trade is done between Nigeria and Britain and it also highlights the opportunities that are there for the future. I shall certainly be using it when I get back home to encourage companies to come out and to take advantage of the opportunities.”
The UK trade envoy added that he was determined to ensure that the UK becomes Nigeria’s number one trade partner by talking to both British companies and companies in Nigeria about how they can do more business together and making them aware of the opportunities highlighted in the report. He also noted that the floating of the naira has made it a lot easier to do business with Nigeria.
PwC’s Country Senior Partner, Uyi Akpata, who presented the report, said despite the current state of the Nigeria’s economy, its scale, the country’s resource wealth, and its strategic geographical location make it favourable for UK exporters and investors.
Akpata said, “UK businesses are well placed to succeed in Nigeria because of its familiar legal system, strong ties through the Diaspora community, same lingua franca and the perception that UK brands offer high quality.
“Unfortunately, the UK’s importance in Nigeria has been sliding. Since 2000, the UK has fallen from first to become only the fifth largest non-oil goods exporter to Nigeria behind China, US, India and Germany in 2014. Similarly, the UK’s share of the FDI stock in Nigeria has decreased from close to 7% to less than 2% between 2005 and 2014.”
He added that the UK’s non-oil export and Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria could increase significantly depending on if the Nigerian government will progress on reforms and enactment of policies on trade openness and also if the UK government will facilitate better cooperation between the two countries.