Trade volume between Nigeria, Korea hits $2b in 2021.

The trade volume between Nigeria and Korea hit the two billion-dollar mark in 2021 rising by about 50 per cent. The Republic of Korea Ambassador to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, who disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, challenged Nigerian companies to study the market needs of the Republic to produce what is needed and the standard required.

The Ambassador said there is enough potential to further increase the trade if Nigerian companies prioritise the study of the standards and specifications of what is needed in Korea, especially agricultural products.

“The trade volume between Nigeria and the Republic of Korea was around two billion dollars in 2021 which was an increment of about 50 per cent on what it used to be. The balance of trade between the countries is balanced because while Korea exports manufacturing goods into Nigeria, it also imports a lot of gas and crude oil from Nigeria.

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While Nigeria has a lot of potential in the agric sector and Korea imports a lot of sesame seeds, Nigeria has not been able to play in that market because Nigerian companies have not studied the Korean market and customers to know what they want.

“I hope more Nigerian companies will study the Korean market and Korean customers to know what they need and the standard requirements. While there is a lot of potential in sesame seeds and oil, Nigeria cannot play big there until Nigerian companies study what is needed.”

The diplomat also hinted that the diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and Korea has improved significantly, which has now been extended to the exchange of military personnel between the two countries.

While soliciting the support of Nigeria for a Korean woman, Kang Kyung-wha, who is contesting for the post of Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Young-Chae reminded Nigeria that a Korean, Yoo Myung-hee, withdrew from contesting the Director-Generalship of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which paved the way for Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to emerge as the Director-General.

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The Ambassador, who paid glowing tributes to the towering influence of Nigeria within the international labour arena, said securing Nigeria’s support for its candidate is crucial.

“The influence of Nigeria in the international labour circle is very huge. Just like Myung-hee stepped down during the WTO race, which made the emergence of Dr Okonjo-Iweala possible, we are counting on Nigeria to reciprocate this gesture. I have met with the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba on this issue. We are talking to Nigeria to support our candidate during the election,” he stated.

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On her part, Dr Kang Kyung-wha said her experience as a senior manager in the UN for over 10 years in the field of human rights and humanitarian assistance puts her in good stead to deliver people-oriented programmes in the ILO.

In the same vein, the Ambassador stressed that granting the hosting right to Busan, a commercial hub in Korea to host World Expo 2030 will be the right choice, saying, “World Expos have always presented a new vision for the potential of mankind. World Expo 2030 will serve as a forum for cooperation to tackle global challenges. World Expo 2030 will be a fitting venue to build consensus between advanced and emerging economies. Having made the successful journey from a developing country to a developed one, the Republic of Korea is best positioned to bridge the two.”

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