The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Nigeria Trade Office in Taiwan cohosted the 2022 Nigeria-Taiwan Business Forum at the Taipei International Convention Center in a hybrid format on January 6, 2022.
The forum was attended by leading industry representatives from Taiwan and Nigeria. After opening remarks from government vice ministers of both countries, the event focused on the e-commerce market, business environment, and commercial opportunities in Nigeria, exploring potential areas for bilateral trade and investment cooperation.
The forum aimed to establish a basis for regular trade and economic exchanges and served to continue the implementation of the Africa Project, a key Taiwan government policy.
In her remarks, Evelyn Ngige, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment of Nigeria, recognized that the forum provided a platform and opportunity to develop the strategic sectors of the two countries.
She said the event was a chance for both sides to evaluate the existing trade and economic relations and look into ways to improving and exploring other areas on a win-win basis.
She added that she looked forward to expanding ties to socioeconomic activities that would improve the well-being of the two countries.
Permanent Secretary Ngige also pledged to deepen relations with Taiwan and expressed hope that visiting delegations and physical meetings could be arranged after the pandemic.
Taiwan Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Tah-ray Yui pointed to complementary areas and competitive advantages of industrial development in the two countries.
He suggested the potential for cooperation in fields including machine tools and equipment, e-commerce, expanding the halal market, the food processing industry, and automotive parts and accessories.
Vice Minister Yui encouraged enterprises from both sides to pursue cooperation. He also urged Taiwanese companies to enter the African market and take advantage of the business opportunities that will emerge after the economic integration of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
To establish a sound legal framework to protect investors from both countries, the governments of Taiwan and Nigeria will update their 1994 agreement on the promotion and protection of investments.
Ibrahim A. Ahmed, Trade Commissioner of the Nigeria Trade Office, mentioned in his speech that Taiwan-Nigeria trade in 2021 reached $830m, representing the highest figure in the last five years.
He said this indicates increasingly prosperous bilateral economic and trade exchanges between the two countries.
He added Nigeria is therefore set to be the largest African trading partner for Taiwan.
During the forum, official representatives from the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and the Executive Director of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, as well as the President of the Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria, shared the latest business information from Nigeria.
A representative from the Export-Import Bank of Taiwan explained how its relending facility could help Taiwanese businesses win African orders.
The forum attracted more than 100 participants from industry and academia in Taiwan and Nigeria. Represented sectors included the food, agriculture, transportation, technology, and computer industries.
Business leaders from both sides said that forums such as this help build industrial connections and create alliances and partnerships between companies.
The event was particularly helpful for Taiwanese businesses hoping to expand into emerging African markets, as well as Nigerian companies looking to develop Asian markets.
Participants expressed hope that the governments of Taiwan and Nigeria could continue this model of cooperation to provide more corporate networking and matchmaking opportunities in the future.