Nigeria-Singapore Business and Investment Forum holds in October

A business forum aimed at furthering the economic relations between
Nigeria and Singapore is to take place in October.
The forum, tagged: “Nigeria-Singapore Business and Investment Forum”,
is scheduled for Singapore.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Singapore, Nonye-Rajis Okpara, has begun moves in this regard to ensure the full participation of Nigeria and
Nigerians in the forum.
On July 16, 2013, Okpara met with TeoChee Hean, Singapore’s Deputy
Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security and
Home Affairs, discuss on the upcoming Nigeria-Singapore Business and
Investment Forum.
Okpara told Hean that the visit was to discuss investment
opportunities available in Nigeria, ways to attract more attract
foreign direct investment and also to brief the Deputy Prime Minister
on the high level delegation that would be attending the upcoming
Forum from Nigeria.
She said the good bilateral relations between Nigeria and Singapore
and the growing interest from both countries to strengthen economic
relations were commendable and should be quickly built on in the
coming months.
She also informed the Deputy Prime Minster of the desire by Nigeria to replicated the health, education, housing, ports management and
refinery sectors of the Singapore economy.
She said it was the ability to develop these sectors that enabled
Singapore to advance from a third world to a first world within avery
short period.
Okpara spoke of the ongoing efforts of the Nigerian Government to
provide the necessary enabling environment for foreign investments in
Nigeria, in line with the reform put in place by the present
administration.
She said Nigeria was willing to sign the Bilateral Air Services
Agreement and the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement with
Singapore during the upcoming Forum.
She said when signed, the agreements will serve as an impetus to the
growing business interest between Nigeria and Singapore.
In his remarks at the meeting, Hean congratulated Okpara on the good
job she has been doing and the result achieved within a short time,
which the Deputy Prime Minister said he heard mostly from his
colleagues and Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Hean said the forum would provide the two countries the opportunity of strengthening trade relations.
The Deputy Prime Minister acknowledged the existing cordial relations
between Nigeria and Singapore and the readiness on Singapore’s side to explore more investment opportunities in Nigeria.
He informed the Ambassador that he will discuss the Forum with his
colleagues from the Ministries of Trade and Industry and Foreign
Affairs on ways to see that Singapore is well represented.
Hean also emphasized that in trying to replicate some sectors of
Singapore’s economy, a realistic approach to government policies has
to be put in place, in view of the size of Singapore.
He further informed that governments will have to be very concise of
the things they want to implement in line with the size of its
population and its natural resources.
On the shift from a third world to a first world, the Prime Minister
told Okpara that Singapore in its early development concentrated more
on training and sharing of knowledge, which was the basis for the
establishment of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
The school was an idea to have a place where people could come
together to share experiences.
He also informed that any country that wants to develop quickly should not be bound by a particular idea.
Speaking on national economic development, the Deputy Prime Minister
promised to get an appointment for Okpara to speak with Kishore
Mahbubani, the Dean of the LKY School of Public Policy to discuss
further on Nigeria’s development and experiences.
The Deputy Prime Minster informed Okpara that Singapore will be happy
to extend an invitation to President Goodluck Jonathan to visit
Singapore soon.