The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote economic cooperation and investment opportunities in their respective special economic zones.
PEZA OIC Deputy Director General for Operations Vivian S. Santos signed the MOU with Calabar Free Trade Zone Director Ahmed Gurin Saleh on behalf of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) on Nov. 16 in Dusit Thani, Makati.
Under the signed MOU, PEZA and NEPZA shall promote economic cooperation between the Parties on Trade and Investment opportunities in Special Economic Zones. Further, both parties recognize the importance of industrial, investment, and trade facilitation in the development of the economies of both countries.
The MOU further states that PEZA and NEPZA may cooperate on various areas such as the sharing of industry, investments and trade related information, undertake joint investment promotion programs, conferences, trade fairs and meetings.
Likewise, both parties may conduct capacity building and skills development, trade and investment campaigns, and public-private partnership.
The Nigerian Embassy in Manila also conducted a two-day Nigeria-Philippines Business Forum to boost trade, investment and business opportunities in the two countries.
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of the Philippines Folakemi I. Akinleye said “The Forum is designed as part of the year-long activities to commemorate the over 60 years of diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines.”
“The forum aims to advance diplomatic, economic, and social collaboration between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of the Philippines,” said the ambassador at the forum.
Amb. Akinleye noted that, “In view of many years of diplomatic relations between our two dear nations, one would expect that there should already exist very strong economic ties between us. Unfortunately, this is not the case in spite of the geographical, cultural, agricultural and aquatic similarities that bind us.”
“To this end, my tenure as Ambassador is determined to rekindle the desire and will to collaborate economically between government to government, business to business, as well as government to business in Nigeria and Philippines, while serving as the liaison,” she added.
It was pointed out that, Nigeria remains a very strategic partner for the Philippines in Africa as it is blessed with human, agricultural, natural, ecological, and aquatic resources.
“There abound numerous sectors where our countries can do business together and, for this cause, the Nigerian government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has set up policies to facilitate the ease of doing business in Nigeria,” Amb. Akinleye said.
The forum also provides the opportunity for visiting Nigerian entrepreneurs to access the Philippine market and create effective partnership and collaboration as well as gain knowledge on the thoughts, challenges, and aspirations of Philippine business regarding the Nigerian market.
The forum also highlighted incentives available in both countries, including funding opportunities and risk managements for the purpose of increasing foreign direct investments into Nigeria.