Business council to enhance trade ties between Msia, Nigeria

Business council to enhance trade ties between Msia, Nigeria

PUCHONG: With the official registration of the Malaysia Nigeria Business Council (MNBC), the business council now embarks on its mission to strengthen and enhance trade ties between Malaysia and Nigeria.

Speaking at a press conference after the official handover of authority, the newly-minted MNBC president Datuk Ibrahim Abdullah said the idea of forming the business council was mooted 15 years ago.

“I had the idea of forming MNBC back in the days when I was the Malaysian ambassador to Nigeria. Although we already have the Nigerian Malaysia Business Council (NMBC), only now we are able to establish its Malaysian chapter,” he said.

Ibrahim was also flanked by MNBC former president Datuk Mohamed Saffian Omar and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) Mohd Khairy Maidin, which is its Trade Commissioner in Lagos, Nigeria.

Ibrahim said that MNBC was formed to facilitate entrepreneurs from both nations to conduct business with one another and increase trade value in due course of time.

Currently, he said, there is a lack of confidence among Malaysians to invest in Nigeria, despite the African nation holding immense opportunities.

“Many people don’t realise that Nigeria is one of the top 20 economies of the world.

“They have a population of 200 million and its gross domestic product (GDP) is higher than South Africa,” said Ibrahim.

He added that with Malaysia’s current export markets becoming saturated, the need for local businesses to seek other prospects around the world has become vital.

“In the recent Budget 2020, the government announced that our global exports only increased by two percent.

“So, it is timely for us to look into other nations to trade with, particularly Nigeria,” said Ibrahim.

Elaborating on the matter, Khairy said that Malaysia can look into two sectors to venture in Nigeria; oil & gas and oil palm plantation.

He also highlighted that Malaysia can also invest in agrobusinesses there, primarily in terms of providing agro-consultancy.

“We can also offer our expertise in machinery, construction, energy and other infrastructure projects,” said Khairy.

However, the trade commissioner pointed that Malaysia may face certain competition on other industries.

 “If we look at food and pharmaceutical importation to Nigeria, they have Europe to cater for them. The Europeans have an advantage in terms of pricing due to its proximity to Nigeria.

“We may also face some restrictions if we were to venture into their food and consumer goods as the Nigerian government is promoting their own local business investments in the sectors,” he said.

Khairy also noted that Malaysia may face stiff competition from two powerful nations, China and India.

However, he expressed confidence that with the official formation of MNBC, both the council and its counterpart in Nigeria can move together and offer opportunities for both nations.

“Both MNBC and NMBC can facilitate and ease the process of doing business in both countries,” said Khairy.

With the official formation of the MNBC, the current leadership list is as the following:

President: Datuk Ibrahim Abdullah

Deputy President: Datuk Saffian Omar

Secretary: Ruhayah Mohamad Derus

Deputy Secretary: Sharifah Dzarina Syed Abdul Razak

Committee Member: Fazli Haris Ibrahim

Committee Member: Dzul Atfie Sahid

Committee Member: Adnan Abd Hamid

Committee Member: Shahul Hameed Dawood

Committee Member: Ahmad Fuad Shahrudin

Committee Member: Mohd Yusri Effendi

For details on becoming a member of MNBC, please call Ruhayah at 012- 224 1420 or email her at mnbc.malaysia@gmail.com or ruhayah.mderus@gmail.com.

GLOBAL AGRITECH SUMMIT 2019