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France: Nigeria is by Far Our First Partner in Africa

French Minister for Foreign Trade calls on French companies to invest in Nigeria

French Minister for Foreign Trade, Nicole Bricq, called upon French companies to exploit good relations between France and Nigeria by increasing their investment in the country. Speaking at the signing of an agreement between Schneider Electric and Mikano in Lagos, Ms Bricq said the deal was proof of the growing relations between the two countries.

According to the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, Nigeria exported €4bn in products to France last year, whilst France exported €1.7bn back to Nigeria

Elsewhere, at the Swiss-Nigerian Business Interactive Forum, the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Has-Rudolf Hodel said Switzerland is open to business as far as Nigeria is concerned. Whilst Switzerland is notoriously difficult for Nigerians emigrate to, Hodel said there was no problem at all for business men and women to enter.

Speaking about the perception of Nigeria in Switzerland, Mr Hodel said…

We thought at the embassy that the best way to go is having Swiss delegates come and see Nigeria for themselves. This is because the perception of Nigeria outside your shores does not correspond to the reality within. By coming, our meetings are to build contact with key people and authorities for better business relations and we are glad this is happening.

Speaking at the same forum, Managing Director of The Swiss-Africa Business Circle, Thomas Seghezzi, said of Nigeria…

Today, there are quite a few issues that we think are improving or have improved a lot, which is why there are more business interest here. People know there is a potential here; there is big population, natural resources, land mass but a bit of fear of actually investing here.

But now, the prospect is higher and we have good news that we will spread at home. We are certain that more investment interests are due here in Nigeria in a matter of months.

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