The Islamic Republic of Iran has said it is targeting increased trade volume and value in Nigeria from $50 million to $500 million. Mr. Saeed Koozechi, the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, disclosed this while addressing participants at the opening of a 3-day Iran solo exhibition in Lagos.
He said the exhibition is expected to open doors of opportunities for both Iranian and Nigerian companies and business. There were at least 15 Iranian companies showcasing Iranian made machines and various products in the Lagos exhibition.
“It will help to identify each other’s capacity in order to deepen trade relations between the two countries. Right now, Iranian companies do not know the opportunities available in Nigeria. And Nigeria is a very big market, especially with its big population and resources.
“This situation also applies to Nigerian businesses as they also know little about Iranian companies and the huge potential that the Iranian market offers. I believe that through this exhibition, a stronger connection will be fostered among the Iranian and Nigerian businesses. The exhibition will play a very key role in identifying the opportunities on both sides. I hope that as soon as possible we can have another exhibition in northern Nigeria,” Koozechi stated.
He said the Iranian Solo Exhibition in Nigeria will boost bilateral trade relations between Nigeria and the Islamic Republic of Iran as he is confident that entrepreneurs will explore the opportunities provided by the exercise.
According to him, Iran is one of the biggest countries with the highest crude oil and gas reserves in the world. But in spite of that, the Iranian government is gradually reducing its dependence on oil revenue but concentrating on industry and other industry-related sectors of oil and gas.
Last year he said, Iranian export of petrochemicals stood at about $15 billion.
Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, Executive Director Nigerian Export Promotion Council, assured Nigerian Business community that doing business in Iran is as safe as any other country; stressing that sanctions placed on the country by the United Nations was only on oil and gas.
“Iran has been exporting and importing commodities to and from Europe and some African countries. There is a silver lining at the end of the tunnel,” Olusegun stated.
He said Nigeria cannot afford to continue to rely on oil which has in recent times received serious bashing in the global market.