The Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) is targeting an increase in the share of trade in Gross Domestic Product to 50 per cent by 2023.
As of the first quarter in 2020, data from the National Bureau of Statistics gave trade’s contribution to Nominal GDP as 15.09 per cent, lower than the 16.95 per cent contribution in the same quarter of the previous year, as well as the preceding quarter’s 15.66 per cent.
The Acting Chief Trade Negotiator/Director General, NOTN, Victor Liman, disclosed this as part of the overview of the newly launched Nigeria trade policy journal.
The journal titled ‘A Nigerian Policy Roadmap: Perspectives and Insights’ builds on the 2002 trade policy regime capturing contemporary changes, developments, and recent COVID-19 challenges and issues.
The trade office said the Trade Policy Roadmap contains proactive strategies and responsive policy measures to address current and future challenges.
“We are all aware that COVID-19 has impacted all sectors and human interaction in Nigeria in the short, medium, and long run.
“Consequently, we are experiencing trade deficits; loss of businesses and investments; healthcare systems overstretched, welfare, tourism, and aviation impacted; free trade under threat; borders closed; supply chains disrupted; aviation suspended; changes to policies on trade, healthcare, budgets, ICT, oil, and gas.
“Hence, there is the need for a Trade Policy Roadmap to sustain the economy, recover losses and sustainably grow the economy; through a broad multi-sectoral and coordinated response by Nigeria domestically and regionally,” Mr Liman said.
He said the policy was drawn up as a preparatory work to be a reference source for further engagement with critical, relevant and strategic stakeholders.
Asides the 50 per cent increased share of trade in GDP, the policy also aims to increase employment share in trade-related industries to 28 per cent by 2023.
Mr Liman also said the trade policy framework seeks to make Nigeria one of the 15 largest economies in the world by 2025.
“Rooted in the quest to tap into the rare opportunity presented by the pandemic;
“To diversify growth and development pathways in Manufacturing, health, processed and semi-processed exports, services trade, Innovation, research and development, science and technology, E-Commerce, teleworking, telemedicine among others.
“Considering the prevailing times, the policy will focus on achieving sustainable growth in goods and services exports while respecting environmental concerns.”
The roadmap also aims to promote “Rapid development of Nigeria’s digital economy; Formalising Nigeria’s large informal economy; further develop MSMEs and integrate the business into GVCs.”
The document comprises 13 chapters covering various priority sectors and areas for Nigeria’s inclusive trade growth and sustainable growth namely;
Cocktail of Policy Mixtures on COVID-19, (addressing economic recovery, regional cooperation, trade facilitation, removal of trade barriers); Trade and Foreign Policy and National Security; Trade, Competitiveness, and Rules-based Safeguards; Trade and Related Policies; Trade in Services; and
Trade-in goods; Trade in the Digital Economy: Data, Intellectual Property and Innovation; Trade in the Digital Economy: Data, Intellectual Property and Innovation; Trade and Investment Facilitation and Global Value Chains; Informal Economy Trade and MSMEs; Employment of Women in Trade; Standards and Quality Infrastructure; Trade Capacity-Building and Training and Cross-Cutting Issues.