Abuja, Dec. 18, 2023: Mr Kalilou Traore, Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire to Nigeria, says the official trade volume between his country and Nigeria has reached approximately 1.5 billion dollars.
Traore made this known on Sunday in Abuja where he said that the trade was still opened for improvement, particularly in the area of manufacturing.
“The official trade volume between Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria is approximately 1.5 billion dollars. This includes crude oil because Cote d’Ivoire refinery is supplied by Nigeria.
“Beyond that, we have so many manufacturing products being traded between the two countries, like cement coming from Nigeria, agricultural products, food and cosmetics, like soap.
“We have a very high potential to improve on the volume of trade, particularly in the area of manufacturing products.
“You know, Nigeria is the biggest economy in the sub-region, Cote d’Ivoire also after Nigeria is one of the biggest economy in the sub-region.
“Particularly in Francophone countries, Cote d’Ivoire is the biggest. So these are two captains that have possibility.”
The envoy said Cote d’Ivoire now worked closely with Nigeria business association, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to boost trade between both countries.
Traore said that Nigeria import a lot and that some of the products that Nigeria imported could be supplied by Côte d’Ivoire.
“Cote d’Ivoire also imports a lot, some of the products Cote d’Ivoire import can be supplied by Nigerian industries.
“We are working to make this happen quickly in the manufacturing sector,” Traore said.
Traore restated the country’s commitment to partner Nigeria toward improving its economic growth in 2024.
The envoy said that strategic measures had been put in place by the Ivorian government not just to attract Nigeria businesses there, but to also enable business thrive in the country.
“Our Presidency under the leadership of Alassane Ouattara is conducting the country very strongly in the way that the country will receive investors and business people all over the world.
“We are promoting this in Nigeria for Nigerians, because we want to be part of the this economic success of the country.
“To encourage Nigerians to come and do business, and expand their businesses in Côte d’Ivoire, by doing this we believe we will boost regional cooperation in a win-win situation.
“We think Nigeria has money and it is an occasion for Nigerians and Nigeria business operators to invest in Côte d’Ivoire, and expand their businesses there.”
The envoy described Côte d’Ivoire as one of the fastest growing country in the sub-region since past decades.
“Our economic growth is approximately seven per cent that is what is planned in this year 2023. Next year we are supposed to go further.
“We also have very strong macro-economic environment with a very large rate of inflation. Our country faced challenges with what is happening in the world, like COVID-19 whereby everybody suffered.
“Even though the inflation rate of Côte d’Ivoire was seven per cent last year, now we are moving to three per cent, next year we will be free 100 per cent of inflation rate,” he added.
The envoy mentioned that the population of Nigerians in Côte d’Ivoire was small and that most Ivorians in Nigeria had small businesses, saying more should be done to improve trade between both countries.
“The population of Côte d’Ivoire in Nigeria is still small, most of the Ivorians here are in small businesses and not attained high level businesses.
“Some are also staff of big organisations like banks and international community, but majority are into small businesses.
“There are many Nigerians doing businesses at different levels in Côte d’Ivoire, we have Nigeria banks like UBA Plc and others in Côte d’Ivoire, this is an ongoing process ,” Traore said.