By Shedrack Onitsha,
A renowned economist, Prof. Pat Utomi has called on Vietnam to invest in manufacturing in Nigeria to bridge the trade imbalance with Nigeria, noting that most exports from Nigeria are primary, unprocessed produce.
The All Progressive Congress, APC, chieftain stated this yesterday at a Conference on ‘Investing in Nigeria’ in Hanoi, Vietnam, jointly organized by Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigeria – Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vietnam Trade Office in Nigeria.
Prof. Utomi urged world leaders to use real-time information that is already available online in bridging the information gap and building the confidence of their investors so as to stimulate international trade and investment flows into and out of Nigeria.
He assured many prospective investors of finding reliable partners to produce manufactured goods for export from Nigeria which will reduce the existing trade imbalance.
Prof Utomi suggested and encouraged Vietnamese businesses to invest in the processing of Timber and Cashew nuts that Vietnam imports in very large quantities from Nigeria into semi-finished and finished products that can be exported directly to European and US markets from industrial clusters that can be set up close to the sources of the raw materials in Delta State.
He also commended the present Nigeria Ambassador to Vietnam, Chief Francis Efeduma for his focus on trade and investments, noting that his recent facilitation of a working visit of Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh, to Vietnam is worthy of commendation.
Prof Utomi added that every effort should be made to boost job creation in Nigeria, and Delta State in particular, to enable the country earn a demographic dividend from the country’s youthful population bulge, and to stimulate peace and progress in the Niger Delta region.