Visit of Nicole Bricq, Minister of Foreign Trade
The visit in Nigeria (15 to 17 September 2013) of Nicole Bricq, Minister of Foreign Trade, was intended to open a new sequence with emerging Sub-saharan African countries. Accompanied by a delegation of French business leaders, Nicole Bricq set an objective of a 5% market share in 4 years and a 50% increase in the number of French firms exporting to Nigeria (1800 only in 2012 against 4500 average in the French speaking countries of Africa).
To achieve these goals, several initiatives have been taken by the Minister:
Establishment of a regular exchange channel from state to state, especially with the creation of a Franco-Nigerian Committee on Trade and Investment with her counterpart, the Minister of Trade and Investment of Nigeria, Mr. Aganga;
Implementation of the Delegation of public service of UBIFRANCE agency, installed in the local Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to support the development of SMEs and ETI in Nigeria;
Establishment of an exchange of experience between Bpifrance and the Nigerian agency SMEDAN, in supporting SMEs;
Mobilisation of all public financial tools available to assist French companies in their projects (Coface guarantees on behalf of the state, ready Reserve Emerging Countries (RPE) FASEP donations, funding AFD).
Mrs Nicole Bricq, French Minister of Foreign Trade, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian Minister of Finances, M. Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, Ambassador of France in Nigeria
|« Whoever is not in Nigeria is not in Africa »
“I fully endorse this formula of Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi. No country is easy, and it goes without saying that the presence of the French companies on site must be in the best safety conditions. Concerning Nigeria, we need to break with the image of a country based only on oil. The needs of the Nigerian people are obviously in infrastructure, and French businesses are often world leaders. The Nigerian middle classes are striving for quality consumer goods. Here again, the whole French offer is available.”
During his visit to Lagos, Ms. Bricq attended the signing of a strategic agreement between Schneider Electric and Mikano Intl. Ltd. Schneider Electric is one of the leading companies in the field of electricity and renewable energy in Nigeria. The turnover of Schneider Nigeria exceeds 100 million euros.
The Minister also visited the Eko - Atlantic City project. This mammoth project in Victoria Island Lagos, the largest real estate project underway in Africa, aims to build a new business area of 10 km2, reclaimed from the sea, half of which is already backfilled. This "Dubai of Africa" may welcome within 15 or 20 years, 250 000 inhabitants and 150 000 workers, who will each day join the new city by tram and ferry. Lagos will then comprise 35 million. The total project cost is estimated at USD 5 Billions. Launched in 2006 by the Chagoury Group, this colossal new town project involves the recovery of a 10 km2 of land, which were washed away by the sea for a century after the construction of the dam access to Apapa port, bordering Victoria Island. The French offer in intelligent building systems, transportation and the most sophisticated construction techniques, is able to help Lagos build its new Business District, wich will be the new window of Nigeria to the world.