News ID: 103420
Publish Date : 07 June 2022 - 21:52
TEHRAN– Iran’s Ambassador to Nigeria Mohammad Alibak has said that the joint commission meeting which is held in Tehran after a 7-year interval is a constructive initiative for improving bilateral ties and paving the way for boosting trade between the two sides.
A high-level delegation from Nigeria, headed by Foreign Minister Zubairu Dada, is in Tehran to participate in the Sixth Iran-Nigeria Joint Commission meeting.
Nigeria is Iran’s third trade partner in Africa but given the cordial political ties between Tehran and Abuja and the abundant capacities, the level of bilateral trade ties is not favorable.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a population of more than $220 million. It is also Africa’s largest economy, with a gross domestic product of more than $430 billion in 2021.
The value of bilateral trade increased from $5 million in 2019 to $18 million dollars in 2020 and to more than $130 million dollars in 2021. Despite enjoying a 26-fold growth, the level of trade is not satisfying yet and can be far beyond.
Transportation is one of the most important hurdles hindering Iran’s trade with African counties. To that end, Iran has already started talks with Nigeria as part of efforts to tackle the challenge.
Hopefully, the first flight between Tehran and Abuja will operate within the next few months. Both sides are also mulling the establishment of a shipping line between the two countries.
The Iranian businessmen lack thorough knowledge of abundant capacities and facilities in Africa. They need to gain a more precise understating in this regard.
Fortunately, the attitude has been improving in recent years with more Iranian companies showing interest in doing business in African countries, in particular, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Abuja has taken a series of measures including the issuance of visas for Nigerian individuals and businessmen to facilitate trade. It has also helped dozens of different Iranian companies to introduce their products in Nigeria’s market.
The embassy has made its best to serve as a communication channel linking the Iranian and Nigerian private sectors, with the aim of boosting bilateral trade.
This is in line with the Iranian government’s agenda to adopt active trade diplomacy to diversify its economy and establish effective ties with the international community.
Nigeria is a large economy with vast oil revenues and extensive mineral, agricultural and human resources. The problem in Nigeria today is the lack of infrastructure, especially in the areas of energy, technology, and skilled manpower.
If the political relations between Iran and Nigeria continue to improve with the expansion of the bilateral trade in focus, Nigeria can offer large trade potentials for Iranian companies in diverse fields, from petrochemicals to food industries.
The country can also operate as a regional hub facilitating trade between Iran and West African states.


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