This was announced by theUnited Arab EmiratesConsul General in Lagos, Abdulla Al Mandoos who expressed the UAE’s interest in helping SMEs grow and to aid Nigeria develop its infrastructure and human capital.
Al Mandoos disclosed that there were plans to establish a trade zone for SMEs to showcase their products and services. He said the process had commenced and that letters had been exchanged between Lagos and Abu Dhabi.
“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,” he said.
The Consul General said that Nigeria has a population of about 200 million and so there was a huge demand for infrastructure. He added that with the Nigerian government’s willingness to attract investment, the UAE was interested in helping to achieve that.
Al Mandoosgave a breakdown of the UAE’s areas of interest which include oil and gas, agriculture, financial services, real estate, entertainment and new media. While speaking on agriculture, he noted that the UAE depended on imports for its food needs and Nigeria would be a target for partnership.
Why this matters: The role of SMEs in enhancing economic growth and development has, over time, been widely acknowledged globally. Economic wealth all over the world is created through enterprises and the expansion of their output. This is why this collaboration is important as it creates value and enhances the gross domestic product.