Brazil-Nigeria Trade Hit $9bn In 2012, Says Visiting Brazilian President
SAN FRANCISCO, February 23, (THEWILL) - Brazilian President, Ms. Dilma Rousseff, Saturday in Abuja, disclosed that the volume of trade between her country and Nigeria grew exponentially last year, hitting $9 billion .
She said there was great hope of increasing the figure when further trade links across other sectors kick off with the expected establishment of a bi-national commission between the two countries soon.
Rousseff, who was on a visit to Nigeria disclosed this after a two-hour meeting between her delegation and that of Nigeria led by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja.
Rouseff also expressed the need to diversify the trade engagements between the two countries with a view to having “a more balance trade,” particularly in the petroleum sector where, according to her, “Petro Brass has been around and has conducted its operations in the country for the past 14 years.”
She stated that Brazil will also want to also establish partnership covering hydro-electricity, given Brazil's experience in electricity and expertise in building a wide range of transmission system.
The Nigerian delegation at the meeting was made up the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Olugbenga Asiru; Petroleum Minister, Dieazani Allison-Madueke; Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I; Minister of Culture, Edem Duke; Agriculture Minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina; Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga and the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy (CME), Dr. Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala.
The Brazilian delegation comprised the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Patriota; Development Minister, Fernando Piminez and Minister of Education Aloizio Hercadante.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who addressed a joint press conference with the visiting Brazilian delegation, said the two countries discussed many issues culminating in the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see to the establishment of a bi-national joint commission.
A communiqué signed by both leaders at the end of the meeting indicated that “exchange of visits by high ranking officials on the two countries need to be intensified,” while instructing “that the joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation between Nigeria and Brazil should convene the 7th meeting scheduled to hold in Abuja as soon as possible to follow up the outcomes of President Rousseff's visit to Nigeria.”
Jonathan explained that the vice presidents of both countries will seat on the commission which will be coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, adding that the commission “will cover the area of agriculture and food security, petroleum, power, bio-fuel, trade and investment, mining, education, aviation, infrastructure management, finance and culture.”
“Nigerians and Brazilians are happy people,” Jonathan said, adding that the purpose of the joint commission and partnership in the sectors enumerated by him are to boost the socio-economic wellbeing of citizens of both countries by providing them with employment and business opportunities.
“If these two countries are working together, then the countries’ businessmen and women will work together to see how they will invest in both countries and improve the economy,” he said.
According to Jonathan, “We know that Nigeria and Brazil have a lot of things in common. Geo-morphologists informed us that a long time before the continental drift, thousands years ago, the continent of South America and that of Africa had one , and the point of connection is actually where Nigeria and Brazil is today.
“And also those who study the diversity of lands and animals, from their studies have shown that the kind of plants and animals that we have today were similar. Even in terms of human issues. Brazil soccer is almost like a legion. And Nigerians, you know we are very diverse people, different tribes. Different languages and different religions. One thing that brings all of us together is soccer. So we have quite a lot of things in common.
“Brazil and Nigeria have been doing very well even before myself and Madam President. Our past presidents- President Olusegun Obasanjo and Inacio Lula Da Silva worked very hard to ensure this. You cannot just bring Nigeria and Brazil together, but we think we can bring the two continents together in what we call Africa and South-America Summit.
“We just had a meeting in Malabo yesterday (Friday). Two of us were there and we said the whole of South America and the whole of Nigeria have to come together to help our people that have similar historical antecedents. Luckily for us, you can’t talk about South America without Nigeria. And you can’t talk about Africa without Nigeria.”
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting also highlighted other critical areas such as maintenance of peace and security in Africa and Latin America, political and security cooperation, resolution of the crises in Guinea-Bissau and Mali as well as economic, trade and Investment Cooperation.
Others areas are culture, media, and exchange of information “about Nigeria's candidacy for election as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the period of 2014 - 2015.”
They also exchanged information about Ambassador Roberto Azevedo's candidacy for the post of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Both Presidents reiterated the importance of the multilateral trading system of trade. They also agreed in principle to consider favourably the above candidatures, as well as other candidatures from both countries in the light of their excellent bilateral relationship.