Over 80% of Africa’s exports are shipped overseas mainly to the European Union (EU), China and the US, with the continent trailing behind its counterparts in intra-regional trade at 17% compared to Europe at 69% and Asia at 59%. There are huge benefits in establishing a free trade area among the 1.3bn people (accounting for Africa’s population) with a combined GDP of US$ 2.5 trillion from 54 countries. Free trade could create millions of jobs and reduce unemployment among the continent’s teeming youth population as free trade could be a catalyst for structural change and economic development. Read about how PDF II contributed to Nigeria’s decision to sign up to the AfCFTA.
AfCFTA – Nigeria Signs Up
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The Trade Policy Work Stream conducted a needs assessment to get direct feedback from export-oriented MSMEs, export-supporting government institutions, and export business service providers to ascertain the capacity gaps. The top 5 challenges highlighted by the respondents include lack of market linkages, lack of finance, lack of market intelligence, limited knowledge of destination country requirements, and Export documentation.
In response to their needs, TRD workstream designed a targeted capacity building for the non-oil export community of practice to address the knowledge and skill gaps through a 4-part Export Capacity Building (CB) Series. The following topics were covered in this sequence:
- Market Entry strategies (with case studies: Europe (EU), US, China)
- Raising Finance for Your Export Business
- Understanding Export Documentation
- Branding and Packaging for export
Export Expansion Grant (EEG) was established under the Export Incentives and Miscellaneous Decrees of 1986 and amended into an Act in 1992 to accomplish the diversification agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN). Other export support funds created under the same Act are the Export Development Fund (EDF) and Export Adjustment Scheme Fund (EASF). The funds have been repositioned in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of 2017-2020. The EEG is a post-shipment incentive scheme aimed to achieve three key objectives: (i) to enable exporters to expand their businesses more conveniently, (ii) make Nigeria’s non-oil export more competitive, and (iii) facilitate greater and faster foreign market penetration.
PDF II (now PDF Bridge)’s Trade Policy Workstream funded a study on “Analysis and Impact of the Export Expansion Grant on Export Potential, Market Access and Export Competitiveness in Nigeria”. This policy roundtable discussed the findings and recommendations from this study.
Analysis of Potentials of Nigeria’s Services Sector for Economic Diversification, Employment, and Foreign Trade
Africa’s contribution to global trade in services is little with slow growth despite rapid globalisation and liberalisation. The continent’s intra – African trade in services is also relatively little. Nigeria’s services sector contribution to its GDP is huge, representing 55.8 per cent in 2017. It recorded a growth rate of 1.83percent in 2018. Hence, the services sector possesses the immense potential to promote diversification, employment, and growth, even without a current holistic services sector policy. This study specifically mapped and profiled key services sectors; reviewed domestic regulations relating to services; estimated the current and future potentials for export, and provided associated recommendations.
Trade Associations play a role in promoting appropriate policies, regulations, and necessary reforms relating to their sector of operations. They create opportunities for networking and consultations among industry players as well as being a voice when it comes to new regulations and legislations while encouraging best practices among its members. According to Peter Gomersall, trade associations exist to support their members and further their interests, to defend them when they are under threats and to promote a common position on issues affecting the environment in which they operate.
Given the foregoing, the PDF Bridge Trade Policy Workstream organised a two-day capacity-building session targeted at strengthening the leadership of non-oil export-related trade associations and improve on their business strategy to position them to take advantage of the opportunities in the non-oil export value chain. The sessions had in attendance delegates from government agencies such as FMITI, NAQS, FMARD, NOTN, CBN as well as executives of trade group drawn from various industries including agricultural commodities farmers, agricultural commodities exchange and aggregators, industrialists, agro-processors, women, and youth development groups, textile and apparel among other participants.
Analysis of the Potentials of Nigeria’s Services Sector for Economic Diversification, Employment, and Foreign Trade.
A roundtable event on the potentials of exporting the services sector in Nigeria. At the Roundtable, it was noted that among business owners and exporters, there is little understanding of what services export entails. Many businesses engage in service exports but are not aware of this. Understanding the four modes of services – Cross border trade, Consumption abroad, Commercial presence, and Presence of natural persons – is important for business growth. To achieve this, stakeholders including the NEPC will need to conduct capacity building and sensitisation workshops for exporters, working with relevant business associations.