Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) are significantly represented among businesses involved in formal and informal cross border trade and non-oil export, yet to date, they have been absent in trade debates (WTO, 2016). MSMEs account for majority of firms in most countries and for majority of jobs, yet most MSMEs (amongst which there are many potential exporters) are unable to participate competitively in the global trade value chain due to stifling challenges in the business environment. Currently the path to export from Nigeria is onerous and the challenges must be addressed.
To effectively position Nigeria’s MSMEs for the global market, debates must address some ‘before the border’ and ‘beyond the border’ issues. However, the political economy of trade policy remains challenging with certain groups dominating the policy discourse and many other local voices unrepresented. Rather than traditional institutional support, the balance of PDF II’s efforts is focused on the building blocks of long-term trade policy by strengthening alternative (or under-represented) voices that can feed into the policy process.
Based on the above, PDF II has organized a series of fora aimed at improving access to finance for non-oil exporters and developing non-oil exports in Nigeria. The first and second fora, held in 2017 and February 2018 respectively, examined challenges and opportunities that avail in financing exports and determined the actions required of different stakeholders to develop non-oil exports in Nigeria. The third is a two-day forum held in Lagos themed: Maximizing Trade Across Nigeria’s Borders. The aim of this forum was to enlighten non-oil exporter voices on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement and discuss trending issues in trade policy negotiations and the trade policy environment in Nigeria. The forum also identified several financing options available for exporters and proposed steps to develop non-oil exports in Nigeria.
Please click on the link to access the full report Non-Oil Exporters Trade Dialogue (ED3)