Thursday, March 10, 2016

South Africa and Nigeria in Deal to Enhance Bilateral Economic Co-operation
MARCH 10 2016, 05:50

President Jacob Zuma (left) addresses a joint sitting of the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday.

SA and Nigeria have agreed on the need to deepen economic co-operation‚ President Jacob Zuma said in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Wednesday.

"In this regard‚ we have agreed to formalise the SA-Nigeria Business Council‚ as it is an important instrument that will assist us in managing and advancing the economic relations between the two countries.

"SA is optimistic about the further growth of economic ties between the two countries‚" said Mr Zuma‚ who was on a state visit to the country.

The visit came at a time when relations between the two countries have been characterised by tensions, worsened by the huge fine imposed on MTN. A number of South African companies have voiced the intention to exit Nigeria, citing tough trading conditions.

Addressing a meeting of the SA-Nigeria Business Council‚ Mr Zuma said Nigeria had opened up its economy to South African companies in various sectors such as engineering‚ telecommunications‚ construction‚ aviation‚ media‚ hospitality‚ banking‚ retail and oil and gas exploration services.

"We would like to see the numbers of Nigerian investments in SA also increasing‚ as we promote two-way trade between these two nations."

Mr Zuma said productive discussions had been held between the two governments on Tuesday.

"The relations between the two countries are managed through a binational commission. We have taken an important decision to elevate the commission to head-of-state level.

"The SA-Nigeria Binational Commission will thus be chaired by President (Muhammadu) Buhari and myself and we will take full responsibility for managing relations between the two leading economies on the African continent," Mr Zuma said.

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