The Nigerian government has announced plans to make $336 billion exporter Vietnam use Nigeria as a gateway into the African market.
According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, this is part of the government’s moves to boost trade with South East Asia and maximize the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
Disclosing this in a statement on Monday night, following his ongoing state visit to one of Asia’s largest exporters, Osinbajo added that the Nigerian government will also support Vietnam’s quest to establish relations with ECOWAS and is prepared to sign, specifically trade and industry agreements.
Osinbajo stated that there are vast opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between Nigeria and Vietnam, especially in the digital economy space.
“We have a growing telecoms market, possibly one of the deepest penetrations of telecoms in the developing world. A large percentage of our citizens use telecom equipment or devices. Our broadband connectivity has also vastly improved.
“We think Nigeria as the gateway to the rest of Africa is strategic, and we hope that with some of the collaborations that we will be able to sign, specifically trade and industry agreements, we believe Vietnam will see the opportunity in using Nigeria as a staging post into AFTZ.
“Nigeria will certainly support Vietnam’s quest to establish relations with the Economic Community of ECOWAS” he noted.
He stressed that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and this puts the country at the centre of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which opens up trade in what will become the world’s largest free trade zone.
The vice presidents of both countries witnessed the signing of a defense cooperation agreement on Monday evening as Ambassador Hassan Adamu Mammani signed for Nigeria, and for Vietnam, Deputy Minister of Defence Snr. Lt. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien.
Vice president Yemi Osinbajo arrived in Hanoi, the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Sunday, where he planned to meet top Vietnamese government officials, including the president, vice president, and prime minister. His itinerary also includes the Nigerian and Vietnamese business communities to deepen the bilateral relations between both nations.