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By Amaka Isikala :

The Industry Commissioner, Anambra State, Mr. Christian Udechukwu has said that the state government have initiated plans to establish economic ties and investment relationship with Indonesia as well as open the doors to bilateral travels.

Mr. Udechukwu said, “such is a unique opportunity for Nigeria, especially Anambra to build a stronger relationship in respect to industrial development.

The Commissioner made this known during a live conference call of the “2nd International Forum of Higher Education,Industry, Government Partnership Meeting and Education Expo” hosted by Anambra-Indonesia Industrial Partnership Development.

“Our interest in participating in this program is primarily to update ourselves on the opportunity that exist on both sides.”

According to the commissioner, Indonesia and Nigeria have a lot of things in common, saying that in terms of population, Indonesia is estimated to be about 275 billion while Nigeria is about 260 million.

“There is opportunities for companies in Indonesia to participate in infrastructure development for Nigeria particularly Anambra.

“I speak particularly in respect of oil and gas, food crops development such as palm oil, coconut, rice soy beans, sugar, corn and more.

“I am aware that between the periods of 1978 to 1988, Indonesia facing some good challenges made significant investments in food development with the result that there is a higher degree of food sufficiency in food production for Indonesia.

“Today, your research development and investment policies will be very useful to Nigeria at this moment. The global cost of living crises that started in Europe, UK and America last year has come to Nigeria and  so we are facing food security challenges.We can benefit from Indonesia experience to repeat what they did in 1978 to1988.

The Commissioner expressed that the state is building industries for the purposes of participation in agro food processing, automotive development, economic free zones where companies from Indonesia can benefit from making pioneer incentives in terms of taxing the availability of lands, approvals for establishment of industries which some may be solely owned by Indonesians or joint venture with local partners.”

According to him, the participation of Indonesia in our industrial development would  be a significant development as we are very viable in ICT development. We have a Centre called the Solution Innovation District which is entirely dedicated to ICT development and in the next few weeks, we will be launching a program designed to train 1 million digital citizens of the state.

Mr. Udechukwu noted that Anambra has a population of about 8.5 million people and will like to train a million to be literate in ICT and industrial processing so that they will be able to work remotely to serve Indonesian companies as well as come over to Indonesia with their ICT skills  if the need arises.

“Nigeria is also African’s fastest ICT economy but the size of the market and the volume of trade in servicing is not as high as that of Indonesians, we are just about to take off because the size of the market in Nigeria is just under five billion.

The Commissioner highlighted that Indonesia is a market leader in tourism, hospitality, hotel development and in the service sector and for us in Nigeria and Anambra in particular it is a very high growth sector.

“We have the population of 8.5 million and we have a national population of over 260 million and with the Africa free trade areas, we have a population of 1.2 billion as well as a market size of over 7 trillion dollars.

“I know that this is a market that Indonesia will be happy to be in. With the Africa free trade growing, companies from Indonesia that are investing in Anambra can serve the entire 1.2 billion people in Africa and get the share of 7 trillion dollar economy.The is the new future that we are opening up to our partners who chose to do business with us.

“We have just concluded a master plan for an industrial city on a 4000 hectare plots of land and in that portion, we are dedicating about 400 hectares to automotive and pharmaceutical product development. We know that Indonesia is also very viable in pharmaceutical production so we welcome your company into the state to participate in the development of Africa’s new 65 nation market located in the state.

The Commissioner emphasized that the state have a population that is highly literate at about 97 percent, adding that the state recently launched a free education program which implied that literacy rate will be approaching 100 percent in the next five years.

According to him, the state is also interested to see that there is a deepening of bilateral relationship in aviation thus having Indonesian airlines flying into Nigeria on a direct flight basis where possible or one stop over in whatever location they prefer.

Mr. Udechukwu added that the state also wants to grow significantly in area of aqua culture, saying that between 2018, Indonesia had an outstanding breakthrough in sea food production to about using 99,000Km of coastline and they were able to excel in sector alone to about 9.3 million tones of production.

Nevertheless, Nigeria does not have the same length of coastline but we have about 400km of miles for fish and aqua culture development as well as about 450km of coastline.

“In this specific areas, we will like to see a growing partnership, a partnership that works and I consider that the opportunity to speak through this forum is a first significant step in deepening and establishing business relationship.”

Present during the live conference meeting is the SSA on Industry, Mr Eloka Mmaduekwe.

*Amaka is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State


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