The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, on Thursday, said the African Continent Free Trade Area has the potential to boost consumer and business spending in Africa up to the tune of $6.7tn and drive huge foreign direct investments.
Adebayo said this while outlining the Federal Government’s intervention programmes to improve the country’s trade relations with India.
He spoke at the Confederation of Indian Industry-EXIM and Africa Project Partnership, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Ifedayo Sayo.
He said the Federal Government, through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, was also working towards setting up AfCFTA implementation Focal Desks in states, adding that state governments had been urged to explore their areas of comparative advantages for economic growth and job creation.
“AfCFTA has great potential of creating a combined consumer and business spending of about $6.7tn, while offering some of the world’s biggest opportunities for attracting Foreign Direct Investment,” he said.
The minister said, “India is now Africa’s third-largest trading partner. Yet the bilateral trade data and patterns suggest the true potential has not yet been realised as African countries predominantly export raw crude oil and other extractive resources to India.
“In the light of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement, as African countries aim to reduce their economic dependence on resource trade, India could play a catalytic role in Africa’s collective efforts to boost the region’s manufacturing and service exports.”
Adebayo said to improve the trade relations with India, the Federal Government had prepared an intervention programme articulated in the form of an implementation plan relative to the different sectors in the economy.
“Government economic policy favours and places priority on greater trade and investment in agricultural production and agro-processing industries, construction, tourism, manufacturing and export.
“These investment opportunities are embedded in the following sectors of Nigerian economy: agriculture, solid minerals, tourism, power, construction and transportation.”
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