Mr. Glazebrook recently visited Nigeria, and in a discussion, he shed light on the purpose and outcomes of his visit. He emphasized Nigeria’s keen interest in the Commonwealth, reflected in the growing number of businesses aspiring to become CWEIC Strategic Partners.
Regarding Nigeria’s economic liberalization reforms, he acknowledged President Tinubu’s ambitious plan and expressed the Commonwealth’s interest in greater access for businesses and investors, emphasizing the private sector’s pivotal role in driving economic growth.
Glazebrook highlighted the Commonwealth’s potential to enhance Nigeria’s trade and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through networking. The Commonwealth’s unique advantages, such as 21% lower bilateral trading costs on average (termed the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’) and hosting major FDI sources like the UK, Singapore, and India, contribute to this.
Acknowledging Nigeria’s non-oil economy competitiveness challenges, he recognized President Tinubu’s initiative to boost non-oil exports and emphasized the role of Nigeria’s business community in driving growth. CWEIC aims to support these efforts by creating links between Nigerian businesses and international counterparts to open new markets.
Discussing opportunities in Nigeria’s energy transition, Glazebrook emphasized the potential for private sector capital and cooperation. CWEIC aims to provide forums for businesses and investors, facilitating discussions on mutually beneficial opportunities. The upcoming Commonwealth Trade and Investment Summit in London is expected to host discussions on Nigeria’s strengths in the energy sector.
Regarding Nigeria’s international engagements, Glazebrook noted that Nigeria has the capacity to collaborate with various trade and investment partners. CWEIC’s role is to ensure that Commonwealth businesses are part of this equation and to open doors for those interested in Nigeria’s potential.
On removing trade barriers, Glazebrook stressed tailoring solutions to Nigeria’s specific needs. The Commonwealth aims to see greater access for its businesses, aligning with the Commonwealth Charter’s commitment to the “freest possible flow of multilateral trade on terms fair and equitable to all.”
Discussing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Glazebrook viewed it as a significant opportunity for trade growth within Africa. With twenty-one Commonwealth member states in Africa, CWEIC plans to connect businesses on the continent and support the process of intra-African trade liberalization through its network.