Ms Paulette Trier, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian-Belgian Commercial Information and Documentation, on Monday said that European Countries had concluded plans to open their markets to more agricultural products from Nigeria.
Trier, however, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the European countries were, first, ready to assist Nigerians in growing the products and making them exportable.
The Executive Secretary noted that not all Nigerian agricultural products were currently exportable, due to problems of packaging, certification and other factors.
“We are currently offering to Nigerians a Europe with a market of 500, 000 million people.
“This is an enormous market that is now very open to many Nigerian agricultural products.
“This is why European countries want to come in and help in making agriculture the new oil base for Nigeria,’’ she said.
Trier said that under the new arrangement, well-packaged and certified Nigerian agricultural products would be allowed to move freely across the 26 European countries.
She, therefore, said that it was imperative for the Nigerian government to expedite action on the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to further fast track trade between Nigeria and the European countries.
The Executive Secretary also announced the countries’ plan to periodically organize workshops for transfer of knowledge to Nigerians, as well as to sensitise them on the differences between good produce and exportable products.
She said that her organisation would hold a Breakfast Meeting entitled “Why Do Business with Europe?’’ on March 16 in Lagos, to sensitise Nigerians on the “increasing opportunities’’ for them in Europe.
Trier said that the Senior Advisor for the European Union (EU) for the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce (Voka), Mr Luc Van Looveren, would speak on “Why do Business with Europe and Flanders in Particular,’’ at the meeting.
The Head of the Trade and Economic Section from the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Filippo Amato, would speak on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) between West Africa and the EU.
The Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, Mr Stephane De Loecker, would also share his perspective of doing business with Belgium at the Breakfast Meeting. (NAN)