ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Nigeria will host trade talks among the Developing Eight in February as part of efforts to increase business within member states and Africa, Nigeria’s trade and investment minister said.
“I will be hosting the trade and industry ministers from the D8 countries sometime around February next year to come up with a strategy plan on how we can increase trade within the D8,” Olusegun Aganga told reporters.
Aganga, who held talks with his Egyptian counterpart on the margins of the D8 summit in Islamabad, said there were also plans to boost trade within Africa. Nigeria and Egypt are the only two African members of the D8.
“The outcome of our meeting is that we felt it was important that the ministers of trade and industry come together to look at how we can work together to promote trade but first within the D8 countries,” Aganga said.
Aganga said African intra trade is very small at 12 percent, compared to Europe at more than 60 percent and about that or more in Asia.
“We thought there was a need for some of these countries in Africa to come together and come with a strategic plan to first of all create the right environment for trade to thrive within Africa,” Aganga said.
He said Nigeria has also agreed to host a meeting with Egypt, Kenya and South Africa next year to look at how to remove bottlenecks and increase trade.
“This is an opportunity for Africa to come together and increase the intra trade in Africa. It must also be a target to significantly increase the intra trade within D8.”
Aganga said he met his Pakistani counterpart on Thursday and that the two countries agreed to collaborate in sugar manufacturing and textiles.
The D8 groups Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, with an estimated total population of one billion.