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Resolve security issues to increase trade volume – Canadian minister

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Nigeria must address security issues to enhance its chance to grow trade volume as the wide range of reforms across the economy is prompting investors to take a fresh look at the country.

Canadian Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast said this during a launch of the “2013 report to shine spotlight on country’s economic reforms.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria-Canada Business relationship will help double the volume of trade to $6 billion by 2015.

“It is important that security threats are addressed, particularly because security and prosperity go hand-in-hand,” Fast said.

He commended the Nigerian government’s privatisation and anti-corruption reform efforts, telling the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) that changes introduced in the banking sector, in particular, should enhance the investment climate.

“These ongoing changes will create better opportunities for all Nigerians and for investors from around the world.

“Canadian businesses are taking a fresh look at Nigeria and the opportunities it presents. They see that the environment is good for business, including a fair and strong regulatory framework to support and protect them,” he said.

Fast disclosed that Canada’s plan to work closely with the African state’s government to address issues relating to security.

The minister added that while Nigeria’s extractive industries remained a focal point of interest for Canadian businesses, other sectors, such as information and communications technology (ICT), were playing a growing role in bilateral trade and investment.

“Diversified trade and investment are vital to our bilateral relationship, the extractive sector can also be an important driver of sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries, provided that an enabling environment is created,” he said.

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