The enhancement of economic cooperation and investment opportunities between the Philippines and Nigeria were some of the topics Nigerian Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru discussed with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario during his official visit to Manila from July 28 to 29.
Raul Hernandez, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said in a press briefing that Ashiru arrived with Nigerian Foreign Ministry officials and met with del Rosario and other Foreign Affairs officials.
They discussed “ways to enhance bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Nigeria.”
“The talks focused on economic cooperation and investment opportunities, enhancement of people-to-people interactions, and in cooperation in combating transnational crimes, particularly drug trafficking,” Hernandez said.
Del Rosario noted that, “There is so much room for improvement in terms of increasing our trade and investment flows between our two countries.”
The Nigerian foreign minister will also meet with top Filipino business executives from the telecommunications, manufacturing and airline industries to explore business opportunities and sustain the momentum in the on-going expansion of trade and investment flow between the two countries.
The Philippines is also looking at the possibility of importing crude oil from Nigeria.
In 2012, Nigeria ranked as the Philippines’ seventh largest trading partner in Africa. It is a market for machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals.
Nigeria is one of the top performing economies in Africa. With a population of 174.5 million, it is the second largest economy in the African continent.
Like the Philippines, it has been named by Goldman Sachs’ as one of the next 11 economies to watch out for.
The Nigerian community in the Philippines is composed mostly of students and businessmen, while most Filipino nationals in Nigeria are skilled, office and professional workers.
“Our nationals are contributing to the development of Nigeria in many areas across several sectors,” del Rosario said.
There are an estimated 7,200 Filipinos in Nigeria.