- Caribbean Export and key Nigerian private sector organizations sign MOU to enhance economic cooperation
- Agreement focuses on trade promotion, investment facilitation, and knowledge exchange
- Partnership aims to unlock new business opportunities, strengthen MSMEs, and increase exports between the Caribbean and Nigeria
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and key private sector organizations in Nigeria have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at fostering increased economic cooperation between the Caribbean region and Nigeria. The signing ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023, on the 2nd leg of the Agency’s trade mission under the theme ‘Advancing Trade & Investment Between the Caribbean and West Africa’.
The MOU outlines a framework for collaboration in various sectors, including trade promotion, investment facilitation, and the exchange of knowledge and expertise. The agreement reflects the shared commitment of both parties to explore and maximize the vast potential for economic growth and development through mutually beneficial partnerships.
Caribbean Export, the regional trade and investment promotion agency for the Caribbean, brings extensive experience in facilitating market access, building capacity, and supporting entrepreneurship across the region. With a rich history of promoting regional integration and driving trade diversification, the Agency is well-positioned to leverage this partnership to unlock new opportunities for Caribbean businesses in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of Caribbean Export, emphasized the goal of creating opportunities for Nigerian businesses in the Caribbean region and vice versa. The majority of businesses in both regions are Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), which account for a significant portion of total employment. The MOU aims to strengthen these enterprises and foster job creation.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and a key player in the continent’s trade landscape, presents immense potential for Caribbean exporters and investors. The signing of the MOU signifies Nigeria’s recognition of the Caribbean region’s strengths in key areas. By collaborating closely with Caribbean Export, Nigeria aims to establish stronger trade ties, opening doors for increased investment and business opportunities.
Femi Egbesola, president of the Association of Small Business Owners in Nigeria, expressed excitement about the agreement, noting the potential it holds for Nigerian entrepreneurs to engage in businesses with Caribbean countries. He highlighted the lack of awareness about Caribbean trade among many Nigerian entrepreneurs and expressed optimism that the partnership would provide new doors and opportunities.
Commenting on the signing of the MOU, Deodat Maharaj, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration: “This partnership with Nigeria holds tremendous potential for both regions. We look forward to leveraging our collective strengths to facilitate increased trade and investment flows, ultimately driving sustainable economic growth and prosperity for businesses and individuals in the Caribbean and Nigeria.” Maharaj also emphasized the goal of significantly increasing exports from the Caribbean to Nigeria within the next 18 months.
Moving forward, Caribbean Export and Nigeria will work diligently to implement the objectives outlined in the MOU, fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors and facilitating meaningful connections between businesses from both regions.