The United Arab Emirates Consul General in Lagos, Abdulla Al Mandoos, says his country and the Nigerian government are in talks to establish a trade zone for the Small and Medium Enterprises.
Al Mandoos said the UAE was interested in helping Nigeria to develop its infrastructure and human capital.
According to him, the process has commenced with the exchange of letters between Lagos and Abu Dhabi.
He said, “We are interested in the economy and infrastructure; we are looking at how we can come in and one of the things we came up with is to start a trade hub.
“Soon it will come up. The idea is to support the SMEs and enable them to take advantage of the hub which will be easy, safe and innovative. It will serve as a think-tank for the SMEs.”
The Consul General spoke at the opening ceremony of The Big 5 Construct Nigeria, a construction exhibition organised by DMG Events, in Lagos, on Monday.
He said the UAE’s areas of interest included oil and gas, agriculture, financial services, real estate, entertainment and new media.
Al Mandoos stated that with Nigeria’s population of about 200 million, there was a huge demand for infrastructure and that with the Nigerian government’s willingness to attract investment, the UAE was interested in helping to achieve that.
On agriculture, he stated that the UAE depended on imports for its food needs and Nigeria would be a target for partnership.
The Senior Vice President, DMG Events, Ben Greenish, said over 5000 visitors and 130 exhibitors were expected at the event, which would end by September 11.