Africa still has great business and investment opportunities that are largely untapped, Goldmine Global Services, a Nigerian firm which facilitates inter-nations trade fairs, has said.
The company said the trade volume between Indonesia and Africa as at 2016 was $7.6 billion, of which trade with Nigeria stood at $2.5 billion.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ismael Balogun, who spoke with reporters during the briefing on the inaugural edition of the Indonesia-African Forum tagged “Sustainable trade and investment cooperation”, said Africa was a potential market for Indonesian consumer goods, such as garments, technical cooperation, motorised vehicles, among several products that could be in demand in African.
He said: “Similarly, Africa is swarming with raw materials Indonesia may need for its manufacturing industries. More than 20 Indonesian companies, including textile producer Indorama, Orange Drugs, Kalbe Farma and Tolaram Group, have partnered Nigerian firms and have invested in Africa. There is a N5 billion modular refinery in Akwa Ibom State, N6 billion investment between Tolaram Group and Kelloggs, Indomie instant noodles and the manufacturer, Indofood Sukses Makmur, has six plants in Africa with the biggest one in Nigeria.”
According to him, the Indonesian-African Forum, slated to hold from April 7 to 14 in Indonesia, is geared towards exploring various economic opportunities to strengthen technical cooperation and enhance existing partnerships between both countries.
“The forum intends to provide a unique opportunity for around 550 people from Indonesia business community, high level government officials and other stakeholders to gather, interact and explore ways to establish concrete economic cooperation and expand business networks.
“We believe the Indonesian-African forum would provide a platform for Nigerian and other African businesses to showcase what they have to offer to the Indonesian business community thereby improving the probabilities of attracting inward cooperation and investments in terms of foreign direct investments from Indonesia” he said
On Indonesian firms already operating in Nigeria, Balogun revealed that the EXIM Bank of Indonesia had pledged to finance Indonesian businesses in Nigeria and encourage others with plans to invest.
An Executive Director of the company, Mr. Michael Majekodunmi said the government of Indonesia was prepared to grant visa to genuine businessmen who wish to visit Indonesia and explore business opportunities.
The firm’s ITPC Director, Bagus Wicaksena, noted that the trade volume represented the second largest the Indonesian government traded with the continent.
The inaugural edition of the forum, he said, is an Indonesian government initiative aimed at promoting and strengthening trade and investment between Indonesia and Africa.
“The forum will generate new ideas aimed at strengthening bilateral trade with Nigeria. We have experienced a promising trade relationship with Nigeria as it has grown by 10 per cent. West African countries are strategic partners in terms of trade and we want to forge stronger bilateral relationships with countries in the continent,” Wicaksena said.