The Business Forum is scheduled to take place in three major commercial cities in America, namely: Atlanta, Georgia from the 12th – 13th, Houston Texas from the 15th – 16th and Chicago, Illinois from the 19th – 20th of February 2010. This was made know to the media during World Press briefing on the 1st USA-Nigeria Business Forum held in the Ministry Headquarters in Abuja. The Minister stated that the Forum is organized to facilitate business and investment relations between prospective American investors and their Nigerian Counterparts. During the business forum, there will be business talks on one – to – one basis between Nigerian investors and their American counterparts.
He further said that the Forum will bring together more than 50 corporate executives and senior policy makers from Nigeria, and senior policy makers, CEOs of Major US Corporations as well as International Investment Banks, to explore opportunities for bi-lateral investment in 14 key sectors: Toursim/Hospitality, Power and Energy, Solid Minerals/Mining, ICT/Telecoms, Aviation/Transport, SME
Development, Banking and Finance, Infrastructure /Constructions, Agriculture/Agric Business, Health /Pharmaceuticals, Oil and Gas, Marine/Port Development Environment and Insurance.
Chief Udenwa said the objective of the 1st USA-Nigeria Business Forum is to facilitate and expedite the commitment to ensuring greater trade and investment relations between the two countries adding that the forum was designed to bring key Nigeria corporate leaders and sector policy makers together with their counterparts in the US A with a view to advancing mutual areas of interest.
This Forum he stated, will among others: Provide a platform for the presentation to American corporate leaders and senior policy makers of the wide array of investment opportunities in Nigeria; Provide a platform for the discussion of ways in which these opportunities can be realized and balance of trade increased, allow participants to meet their strategic interests by providing networking opportunities, and avenues for the development of bilateral investment possibilities and provide opportunities for face-to-face, one-on-one negotiations with potential investors.
The Minister added that the event will further provide venue for business persons to discuss the policy environment in Nigeria and specific needs in each of the focal sectors. Senior government officials, administration officials, and top policy level executives from the private sector will attend.
Also the event will be specifically designed to offer policy executives from the public and private sector and structured opportunity for participatory dialogue and business networking.
The Minister stressed that Nigeria is the United States’ largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. In March 2009, the United States and Nigeria officials held their sixth meeting under the U.S.-Nigeria Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which was signed in 2000.
The U.S.-Nigeria TIFA is part of a comprehensive U.S. effort to support the Nigerian Government’s efforts to advance trade and economic development. During this meeting held in March, the two sides discussed several common objectives, including cooperation in the World Trade Organization (WTO), implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), market access, intellectual
property rights and improving the bilateral investment climate between the United States and Nigeria. Another significant outcome of the meeting was an agreement by both countries to organise an investment forum in America. The objective of such a forum was to create a platform of opportunity for US and Nigerian business people to connect and form the relationships necessary for prudent, profitable business.