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The U.K Government has said that it held talks with Nigeria at the Economic and Development Forum (EDF) in London, to promote trade and boost their partnership worth 3.2 billion pounds.

The British High Commission in Nigeria made this known in a statement on Tuesday.

It said that at the Forum, both countries marked increased support for small and medium sized enterprises in Nigeria, including the UK Manufacturing Africa programme, which had helped 12 firms in Nigeria secure foreign investments.

According to the statement, when these deals were concluded, they would generate over $300 million dollars in foreign direct investments (FDI) for Nigeria and create 5,000 direct jobs.

It said that the U.K and Nigeria agreed to start discussions on an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP), to strengthen trade and high value investments in the two countries.

The commission said that an official working level group would be set up to explore the benefits of an ETP in priority sectors and an increased ambition was expected to build on long standing economic ties between the UK and Nigeria already worth £3.2 billion in 2021.

The U.K Minister for Trade, Penny Mordaunt said: “Nigeria is one of our long-standing and strategic partners in Africa, and I am pleased that the U.K is continuing to deepen our investment relationship with one of the most vibrant and innovative economies in the continent.

“Through the Economic and Development Forum, we can demonstrate how trade is a force for good by creating jobs, prosperity and reaffirm our commitment to boost economic ties, support businesses, and grow new markets, “Mordaunt said.

The minister said the forum would include a technology matchmaking event for tech businesses from both nations hosted by venture capitalist firm LocalGlobe, in collaboration with TheCityUK, TechNation and Innovate U.K.

Mordaunt noted that businesses would have the opportunity to explore potential partnerships and share best practices on how to raise vital development capital and register a business in foreign markets.

The Nigeria Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo said: “The Nigerian government was committed to implementing reforms that could attract more FDI into key industries, boost trade and create employment opportunities for Nigeria’s youth by leveraging technology.

“We welcome the commitment to enhance the relationship between our two countries today and underscore the significance of deepening our bilateral trade policy relationship in a mutually beneficial manner,” he said. 

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