Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Russian Federation have opened an e-commerce platform to boost ties between the two economies.
Nike Akande, President of LCCI said at the launch of RuNitrade that the platform is expected to provide opportunities for companies in Nigeria and Russia to directly communicate, negotiate and reach business deals.
This is the right time for Nigeria to play an active role in international trade considering the nation’s diversification goals and recent crash of crude oil prices globally, according to Akande, President of LCCI
“We are excited about our collaboration with the Russian business on the e-commerce platform . This will further boost trade and investment relations between both countries. There is great value in deploying technology to promote trade. Already e-commerce has gained wide acceptance in our retail trade sector”, Akande told participants at the event.
Akande also observed that Nigerian and Russian economies have similarities in some ways while also underscoring that both economies are oil producing countries and also rich in natural gas. She stressed that the Russian economy is much bigger and more advanced technologically.
“We can benefit a lot from Russian technology in many fields. There are also tremendous opportunities for cooperation and investment relations in infrastructure development, especially power and engineering infrastructure”, she added.
The LCCI President said that the level of trade between Nigeria and Russia is still very low but with closer cooperation between the private sector of both economies, the level of trade can be improved.
According to Akande, “our Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) of over $500 billion is the largest in the continent, we are richly endowed in natural resources, our macroeconomic fundamentals are still strong despite the current global issues with commodity prices, we have one of the most enterprising population in the world and our democracy is stable for the past 17 years.”
She also assured that LCCI will extend all necessary support to improve trade and investment relations between both countries. “I believe there is a great deal of benefit in the promotion of trade relations between countries. It makes it possible for countries across the world to complement one another. No country of the world has competitive advantage in everything”, Akande said.
Also speaking at the event, the President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pskov, Russia, Vladimir Zubov, said a platform such as RuNiTrade has been a long awaited and necessary tool, which the business community needs not only in Russia but also in other developing countries.
According to him the project gives participants the opportunity to promote new products which serves as a bold step forward for trade development, investments and international relationships between both countries.
“We are ready to support B2B-RuNiTrade project on its way to success. I have high hopes for this project and I believe that according to the recent events and agreements reached on political and economic issues, we will have possibility to organize more trade missions between our countries, this will help us to continue the development of mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation in the area of trade and investment”, Zubov stated.
On his part Uwem Sampson, Managing Director, Trailtrans Logistics and RuNitrade, said the volume of trade between Nigeria and Russia is a little above $300 million which is relatively low when compared to the GDP of both countries, stressing that the e-trading platform is designed for Russian and Nigerian business communities, enabling both to gain long lasting relationship for mutual benefits.
He noted that it is the first ever business to business e-commerce marketplace particularly designed and developed in accordance to the Nigerian and Russian business requirements, adding that it would bring businesses from both countries on one platform where they will be able to buy and sell goods in a business friendly environment.
“It will also help to establish good perception, harmony as well as trust between Russian and Nigerian businesses”, he said
“As companies from both countries can use this platform as buyers or suppliers to buy and sell their products to each other. However, they may also sell their products all over the world. RuNitrade as a platform is a fast, secure and efficient trading solution acting as a gateway for export in a one window operation,” he explained.