AFCON platform to deepen Côte d’Ivoire-Nigeria trade cooperation: Envoy
Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire to Nigeria, Kalilou Traore, has extolled the 2023 AFCON tournament as a platform toward deepening Nigeria-Cotè d’Ivoire trade cooperation.
Mr Traore said this in an interview with journalists on Friday in Abuja.
According to him, the Nigeria-Cotè d’Ivoire AFCON match finals on Sunday will boost ties between the two countries.
The envoy described the AFCON tournament as an occasion for people to meet and transact business.
“When we meet, we can talk about everything, and deepen trade relations between both countries,” he said.
According to him, it is expected that after the AFCON tournament, all the discussions being made possible through the event will go far in the exchanges between Cotè d’Ivoire and Nigeria.
He said,”We have worked with the Nigeria Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture and the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria and they have sent people there. Now that we are speaking, we have many discussions there with the Chamber of Commerce in Cote d’Ivoire and also, the organised private-sector association.
“All these target one thing, that is to develop business. This is because Cotè d’Ivoire used to be the capital of industry of francophone countries and Nigeria is the biggest economic industry area in West Africa. So, we have to work together. Many discussions and many initiatives have already been discussed to develop business. We think that it will have a serious economic impact on our relationship with Nigeria, as well as other countries.”
The envoy, who also spoke on the outcome of the just-concluded February 8 Extraordinary Mediation and Security Council Meeting of ECOWAS, said that plans were underway to restore peace and unity in the sub-region.
According to him, it is a serious issue having Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger come up with a communiqué to say they want to withdraw from ECOWAS.
He said dialogue had become important because Mali, Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries were having close relationships, not only at the economic level but also at many levels.
“We held a meeting at the ECOWAS headquarters; we called ECOWAS members and considered the situation. All the delegation expressed their regret about the situation and decided to open dialogue so that these countries that are brother countries would keep the ECOWAS framework.
“I can understand some of their complaints and we can discuss everything. This is because if they leave ECOWAS, we will have lots of problems and the population will suffer. It is not a matter of emotion. We have to seriously discuss all those situations to see how we can resolve our internal problems.
“This was the conclusion of the meeting of ECOWAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and we Cotè d’Ivoire are exactly in this direction also. We will do all we can to find a solution to this crisis,” he said.
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