President Buhari offers to host D8 ministers in Abuja next month

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Istanbul, Turkey, pledged Nigeria’s preparedness to host the meeting of D8 Ministers of Industry between November 14 and 17, this year in Abuja.

The President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari also reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to international trade and development and urged D-8 leaders to prioritise incentives and measures aimed at increasing trade and investments among member countries.

Shehu said Buhari who made the appeal at the ninth summit of the D-8, observed that the private sector and business communities in the economic organisation must be assisted with incentives to widen economic cooperation among member-states.

‘‘As the D-8, we need to intensify our activities with a view to enhancing various measures and incentives introduced to promote trade and assist the business communities from Member States to invest in our countries and widen our cooperation.

‘‘We need to work hard to establish integrated manufacturing structures and markets. I will like to reiterate the importance of increasing trade and investment among our Member States,’’ Buhari was quoted as saying.

Highlighting the attractive business and investment opportunities in the country, the statement added that the President stressed the need for prospective investors to take advantage of the federal government’s new policies on trade facilitation.

‘‘Nigeria is committed to, and is actively pursuing a policy of trade and investment facilitation for growth. The gains from trade are reflected in greater competitiveness, improved productivity, job creation, consumer welfare and prosperity.

‘‘Economies that grow fastest and at more sustainable rates are those that actively promote trade and attract investment. We are committed to creating an enabling environment and making Nigeria an attractive place for business and investment,’’ the President said.

Shehu said the President also urged D-8 member countries to support the efforts of the African Union (AU) to establish the first ever single market for trade in goods and services on the continent and described the AU-backed Continental Free Trade Area for Africa as a ‘’win-win for all, including member countries of the D-8.’’

Buhari added: “I am pleased to inform you of positive market developments currently in Africa, that will support our efforts as members of the D-8 to enlarge our markets, facilitate our trade and investments, and develop our economies.

‘‘In Africa, we are on the threshold of finalising negotiations to establish the first ever Single Market for Trade in Goods and Services on our Continent, in the Continental Free Trade Area for Africa. This will be a win-win for all, including member countries of the D-8.

‘‘As partners, I urge that we work together to support this effort of the African Union that will have a positive effect on global economic development and integration.’’

Earlier, Buhari had congratulated the outgoing Chairman of D8, Pakistani government, and Dr. Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi, the outgoing Secretary-General, on their commitment and strong resolve to forge the organization ahead even in the face of serious challenges.

He also congratulated Turkey on assuming the new leadership of the economic organization.

He assured D-8 leaders that Nigeria would continue to support the secretariat in its assignments to achieve the visions and objectives of the organization.


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