French Minister of Foreign Trade Franck Riester to visit Nigeria

From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The French Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, will be visiting Nigeria from April 12 to 14.

The Embassy of France in Nigeria, in a statement issued by its Press Officer, Onyinye Madu, said the visit is a follow up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.

Madu added that as the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of $4.5 billion in 2019 and $2.3 billion in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘The Minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.

‘The objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors. In this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector,’ the Embassy of France said.

The Embassy of France further said that while in the country, the visiting minister will meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.

‘The Minister will also open the “Choose Africa” conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution,’ the French Embassy also said.