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We’re working to boost trade, investments in Nigeria – WTO boss

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We’re working to boost trade, investments in Nigeria – WTO boss

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The Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has disclosed that the organisation was working to boost trade and investments in Nigeria.

Okonjo-Iweala said WTO under her governance was involved to achieve the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to allow Nigeria to profit more economically.

This, she declared, would create more industries, manufacturing, and also improve trade between Nigeria and other nations.

The WTO boss spoke from Geneva at the 2021 National Diaspora Day summit with the theme, ‘Diaspora Integration for National Peace and Development’, coordinated by the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in Abuja on Sunday.

Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that the WTO was also focused to facilitate creation of vaccines in Africa.

She said, “One of the things I’m thinking about now is how the WTO can help support trade and investment in the country. How can we help with the actualisation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement? We have the largest population and the largest market.

“In order for us to benefit more from the trade, we have to add value to our own products and so, we have an investment facilitation agreement here at the WTO that we are negotiating. Once we do that, it’s something that can create a better environment to attract investment.

“That investment would now birth more industries, manufacturing, keeping jobs at home and then increase trade with the other countries; this is also something that is very important.

“Last time, I met with a group of women from Oyo State who are making Shea butter and they could not export their products to US or Europe because it didn’t meet the phyto-sanitary standards.

“The WTO and the ITC worked with them to upgrade the quality; NAFDAC approved it and they have been able to export. So, this is another area we have been helping the small and medium scale businesses.”

In accordance with Okonjo-Iweala, the WTO is working with the International Trade Centre to help small and medium scale businesses to improve their products to meet global standards for exportation.


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