Nigeria, S/Arabia Boosts Bilateral Trade, Security

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Geoffrey Onyeama

The Nigerian Government and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have agreed to setup a Business Council, a platform to bring together businessmen of both countries to increase the volume of bilateral trade.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Geoffrey Onyeama, and his Saudi Arabian Counterpart, Prince Abdalla Al-Saud, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja after a bilateral meeting aimed at reinvigorating the bilateral relations between both countries.

Addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting, Onyeama said both countries were keen on deepening the already strong bonds, diversifying and increasing trade, multilateral ties and addressing global security challenges.

According to him, we are two big oil producing countries, so our relations also spans to OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries).

“And we are also very keen to diversify; two big countries looking to increase the volume of trade between our two countries.”

He explained that during President Muhammadu Buhari’s last visit to Saudi Arabia, he discussed with the King and the Crown Prince on the importance of setting up a Business Council to bring Nigerian and Saudi businessmen together.

He said this was to explore areas of trade and business, and also to revitalise the framework ”we already have for cooperation and this is through a Joint Commission, so we are hoping to have another one.

“The last one took place over six years ago, we are hoping to have another one by the end of the year so that we can identify and put in place a roadmap for future cooperation between our countries because the areas of cooperation are many.

“In the areas of security, which we discussed, we have a global challenge of terrorism and insurgency and state/non-state actors destabilising countries across the world and the need for us to address these global challenges together.

“We talked about the challenges in the West African Sub-region, North Africa and also in the Red Sea Area,” Onyeama said.

He added that the security challenges were identified in their discussion as well as  the possibilities in the trade and economic fields, stressing that ”there is so much that we can be doing”.

“We talked about cooperation at the multilateral level, in the frameworks of international organisations like the United Nations and strengthening our solidarity in those areas,” Onyeama said.

On Multilateralism, Onyeama said that both countries agreed on the need for them to speak with one voice and push for reforms of some of the agencies as they can make a difference.

Also speaking, Al-Saud commended the level of friendship and bond between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, adding that both countries share similar views on global and regional issues.

He said the brotherhood and friendship between both countries had been very strong and based on the bonds, there were many opportunities to cooperate, work together and build a strong partnership.

“We discussed on how to build on strengthening those bonds to a higher level and focused a bit on how to increase economic, cooperation, business cooperation and building the business relationships between our two countries;

“And facilitating engagements between our two business communities, and this is a priority that we will focus on in the next few months.

“And as part of that, we will also focus on making sure that the joint commission meets again to pursue all of those areas that can strengthen the bonds and the opportunities.

“The People-to-People bonds and the Business-to-Business bonds are the true bedrock of relationships beyond the strong political cooperation.”

Al-Saud stated that the two countries would focus on bringing their communities together and further all aspects of cooperation.

He said that the issues of mutual concerns regarding regional security were also discussed while he briefed the Minister on developments in the Middle-East, peace initiative in Yemen and on other important issues on security in the Red Sea.

“I heard from His Excellency, Nigeria’s perspective on the latest development in the Sahel and beyond, and it is important that we as key players in our neighbourhood align and cooperate,” Al-Saud said.

He added that Nigeria and the Kingdom had similar views on many issues such as regional security, political concerns, multilateralism, working together to strengthen capacities within countries and confronting their challenges.

Al-Saud said they also agreed on working together at multilateral foras to ensure the address of the concerns of both regions and countries in a way that supported the development, future prosperity and dignity of both countries and their citizens. 

Post a Comment

0 Comments