President, of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry,(LCCI) Asiwaju Michael Olawale-Cole, has stated that this year’s Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) is specially packaged to showcase innovations in goods and services on the platform with respect to competitiveness that showcases indigenous/homegrown businesses and their foreign counterparts from across the world.
Olawale-Cole, made the comment on Monday during the United Bank For Africa (UBA) special at the ongoing LITF.
Olawale-Cole noted that with the disruptions to global supply chains induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, and more recently climate change impacts, international trade has been recommended as a “veritable tool to build back”.
The LCCI President commended the recently launched special agro industrial processing zones (SAPZ) programme, by the federal government and supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, as co-financiers.
While recalling that LITF generic theme: ‘’Connecting Businesses, Creating Value, was aimed to facilitate trade, commerce, and investment, he added that SAPZ was expected to mobilise private sector investments to develop value chains for selected crops and livestock, starting with the eight participating states.
“We look forward to an increase in export trade of agro-processed products across the continent and boosting intra-african trade under the Africa continental free trade agreement (AFCFTA) .The United Bank for Africa PLC has deep roots across the African continent and branches inmany countries. Financing trade to boost exports from Nigeria should be the target of banks in Nigeria in exploring the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement AFCFTA .
“At this year’s fair we are featuring some African countries in the Africa hall, hosted by AFREXIM Bank, as a practical way to promote AFCFTA and boost intra-Africa trade. The countries include Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, South Sudan, Cameroun, etc. I warmly welcome them to Lagos, Nigeria.
“The 2022 Lagos International Trade Fair is poised to create value for exhibitors, visitors, sponsors, and government through a trade platform that brings together buyers and sellers. The fair also focuses on exhibitors providing discounted prices to buyers even as they use the fair to offload their inventories as we approach the year-end. I wish to let you know that the fair is built and runs on very robust media coverage before, during, and after the event. This gives great value to all corporate organizations either exhibiting or as sponsors and partners of the fair’ Olawale-Cole said .
He commended the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the United Bank For Africa (UBA), Oliver Alawuba for approving the partnership support from his bank towards hosting the 2022 LITF, congratulating it for securing the headline partnership of the fair this year.
The LCCI head said he looks forward to more mutually beneficial collaborations in the future.
He applauded UBA for its recent expansion and commencement of business operations in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
Olawale-Cole said he expected the participation of the bank in the fair to boost its fourth quarter earnings when the report is presented early next year.