UK-Nigeria Trade Relations Hit £7 Billion, New Agreement to Boost Cooperation

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The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, announced on Sunday that trade relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom have reached £7 billion.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Montgomery revealed that the two countries have entered into a new agreement to enhance trade and investment partnerships.

The agreement aims to foster increased cooperation in critical sectors such as agriculture, creative industries, legal services, financial services, and education. Currently, the UK exports about £4 billion worth of goods and services to Nigeria, with Nigerian exports to the UK amounting to roughly £3 billion.

Montgomery expressed that this new agreement is expected to boost trade volumes and strengthen economic ties between the two nations. He highlighted the potential benefits for Nigeria under the new post-Brexit trading agreement that the UK has implemented, known as the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS).

The DCTS is among the most generous trading schemes globally, eliminating tariffs on thousands of products to promote free trade. Montgomery pointed out that Nigeria has the potential to export at least 3,000 tariff-free products to the UK, including agricultural exports like cashew, cotton, and cocoa from the middle belt.

He also mentioned the potential for commercial agriculture in Nigeria, citing the availability of land and workforce. Montgomery highlighted the opportunities in financial and legal services, noting the entry of new technologies into the financial services sector that will greatly improve the sector.

Montgomery expressed confidence that trade between the UK and Nigeria will expand, attributing this to the bold reforms undertaken by Nigeria. He commended the Nigerian government for eliminating the “crippling fuel subsidy,” addressing oil theft, and implementing foreign exchange reforms.

The envoy noted that the former foreign exchange system had discouraged investors because of the challenges associated with accessing and transferring funds internationally. With the new agreement in place, both countries are poised to enhance their trade relations and unlock new opportunities for economic growth.

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