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British Envoy: Nigeria-UK Trade Surpasses £7 Billion

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The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Richard Montgomery, announced on Sunday that trade relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom have reached £7 billion.

Mr. Montgomery announced the signing of a new agreement on enhanced trade and investment collaboration between the two countries in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

The agreement aims to boost cooperation in key sectors such as agriculture, creative industries, legal services, financial services, and education. 

Approximately £4 billion worth of goods and services are being exported by the UK to Nigeria, whereas approximately £3 billion worth is exported by Nigeria to the UK.

The new trade, according to the British envoy, is anticipated to boost trade volumes and strengthen economic relations between the two countries.

“Trading by both countries is relatively balanced because the UK exports about £4 billion worth of goods and services to Nigeria while Nigeria exports to the UK about £3 billion worth of goods,” he said.

“We need to do more because, if you look at last year’s figure compared to the penultimate, there was not much of an increase in trade volume. It was an increase of about two percent.

“So trade in the last few years has changed. And our enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership aims to boost trade and investment between both countries and also to raise these numbers,” he explained.

He claims that Nigeria can profit from the Developing Countries Commercial Scheme (DCTS), a new post-Brexit commercial deal that the UK has implemented.

Montgomery pointed out that DCTS, which eliminates tariffs on thousands of goods globally to promote free trade, is among the most generous programs in the world. The High Commissioner went on to say that Nigeria could send at least 3,000 tariff-free goods to the UK. Nigeria can export cocoa, cotton, or cashews from the middle belt as agricultural products.

He stated, “There are lots of commercial farmers involved in vegetables, which can be processed, and there is also timber. And we think that there’s a big potential for commercial agriculture in the future in Nigeria.

“You have the land; you have the people. The new trading scheme should be an opportunity for Nigeria. We can do more in financial and legal services.”

Montgomery disclosed that the financial services industry is getting new technologies that would significantly enhance the industry.

In addition, he expressed hope that Nigeria’s audacious changes will lead to more trade between the UK and the country.

Montgomery applauded the Nigerian government’s efforts to combat oil theft, the elimination of the “crippling fuel subsidy,” and the improvements made to foreign exchange.

He pointed out that the old foreign currency system had discouraged investors since it was hard to get money and move it across borders. 

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