The President of the Bulgarian Industrial Association held a meeting with the newly appointed Bulgarian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria Yanko Yordanov.

Yordanov chose BIA for his first business appointment and prioritized recovering Bulgaria's presence in Lagos. The ambassador's efforts will be concentrated on establishing stable economic relations between both states. "Abuja is an important political center, but Lagos is the real economic heart," Yanko Yordanov claimed, adding that he will seek closer cooperation with local trade and industry entities and will assist the organization of an online business forum.

Nigeria's economy is growing rapidly (≈6 / 8% per year), driven by the increase in agriculture, telecommunications, and services. The tax authorities have continued the countercyclical policies introduced in 2011/2013, which significantly reduced the budget deficit. Monetary policy is also adequate and effective. After the global crisis of 2008-2009, the banking sector was recapitalized and under tight regulation.

The country ranks ninth in the world in terms of natural gas reserves. It is controversial that the country imports 70% of its fuels. Nigeria also mines coal, minerals, wood, and rubber. The country is a major producer of processed hides, cocoa, coffee.

Nigeria is a traditional and important trade and economic partner of Bulgaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, there has been a decline in trade and economic relations after 1989.

Several joint ventures with Bulgarian equity have been operating over the years in Nigeria, specializing in design, consulting services, and investor control. Their direct participation in the actual construction decreased sharply in 2016 due to the lack of new large orders and the crisis with government subsidies in the sector.

To date, several companies in partnership with BIA have expressed interest in the Nigerian market: "Polistar Group" for the production of electrical panels and technical security systems; "Interimpex" for export of cereals and beans; "SOLVO" specialized in the treatment of drinking water, the Chamber of Builders in Bulgaria, etc.

"I believe you are heading to a very interesting place, where you will be surrounded by many development opportunities, you have to identify them first," BIA Chairman expressed during the meeting and underlined that BIA is willing to assist by means aiming to improve bilateral economic interests between Nigeria and Bulgaria.

Yanko Yordanov takes office after years of diplomatic activity, starting in 2014 - New York and later continuing as interim ambassador to Brazil.

Nigeria faces several security concerns, especially along the Niger Delta; relentless tensions between nomadic farmers and farmers, and numerous young people waiting to be introduced to the labor market. As far as business relations are concerned, Nigerian companies carry the bad reputation of paying only 50% of their orders and disappearing afterward. A better monitoring tool, examining the potential and intentions of trading partners is also crucial to Nigerian business.

Date: 09.03.2021

Source: Bulgarian Industrial Association

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