Nigeria’s trade exports to Sweden have continued to increase reaching N222.713 billion as at 2015 while Swedish exports to Nigeria is N74.237 billion according to Swedish Minister for European Union (EU) Affairs and Trade, Mrs. Ann Linde, who is the leading Swedish business delegation to Nigeria.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos on the sidelines of meetings with Nigeria’s business community organised by Ericsson Nigeria focusing on Swedish innovations within Smart Cities and information and communications technology (ICT), she said her team is seeking opportunities that will increase the trade relations and volumes between it and Nigeria.
Linde said Swedish exports to Nigeria on the other hand is SEK 2.1 billion (N74.237 billion) noting that the coming of the Swedish delegation to Nigeria was to majorly promote trade between the two countries, stressing that Sweden recognised Nigeria as an investment destination and her largest trade partner in Africa.
“The aim of the delegation is to highlight business opportunities in Nigeria for Swedish companies. The focus of the delegation is developing sustainable and smart societies using Swedish innovations in ICT, transport, energy, health and finance,” she stated.
According to her, Sweden is the highest ranked country in terms of connectivity, digital economy and e-governance and has a strong tradition in innovation in different sectors of the economy. She said Sweden is conceived as one of the most advanced post-industrialised economies and Swedish companies are perceived as innovative, reliable and good partners.
Speaking about Nigeria, Linde said the country is the largest and fastest growing middle class globally, stressing that there is ongoing effort by the current government to diversify its economy; hence, “during this visit the Swedish experience and how its innovations and ICT technology can enhance productivity in many sectors will be shared.”
She hinted that the Swedish intent to strengthen commercial ties goes beyond single business opportunities and industry sectors, but extends to strategic collaborations with not only private businesses but also public sector and academia.
The CEO of Ericsson Nigeria, Johan Jemdahl, called for building of smart cities in Nigeria to ensure that Nigeria becomes a digitalized economy in the world with the help Swedish companies expertise and knowledge. “When it comes to developing smart cities, you need to have the broadband, network interconectivity, cooperating with public institutions and mobile operators, etc” he said.
Swedish ambassador to Nigeria,Mrs. Inger Ultvedt, lamented that there was still deficit between the two countries. She said there was need for the two countries to improve their bilateral trade relations so as to be able to engender more cordial relationship, reiterating that ICT, energy, infrastructure and transport are key areas for the Swedish-Nigerian and EU cooperation
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.