Friday, January 31st, 2014 marks a turning point in the history of Nigerian-Finland bilateral relations as the FINNISH-NIGERIAN FORUM FOR COMMERCE AND INVESTMENT (FNFCI) was officially inaugurated at the Caisa Cultural Center, Helsinki â€“ Finland. Presenting his welcome speech, the Chairman of FNFCI, Hon. Obinna Kelechi Oliaku highlighted the sole objective of the organization among others which is to provide a veritable platform to meet and forge business relationship between Finnish and Nigerian entrepreneurs active in leading business sectors, using seminars, workshops and business forums to offer valuable information on doing business in Nigeria and Finland.
The Chairman of FNFCI, Hon. Obinna Kelechi Oliaku emphasized further that one of the common challenges multinational companies face in a new business environment is how to start-up on the right foot, effectively kick-off and ensure market sustenance. FINNISH-NIGERIAN FORUM FOR COMMERCE AND INVESTMENT is strategically poised, through our network of experts to offer market entry consultancies and project implementation support. He reiterated further, that addressing these challenges requires a joint and concerted approach by both the Finnish and Nigerian business communities, through robust economic cooperation.
Other distinguished speakers are the representatives of the Nigerian Embassy to the Nordic countries, his Excellency Amb. Benedict Onochie Amobi in person of the senior counselor, Ali-Gombe Haruna whom presented key investment opportunities in Nigeria in areas of Education, water treatment, tourism, mineral processing and oil & gas exploration. Other keynote speakers are Patrick Lindgren from law firm Advocare, Finland and representative of â€œCONNECTâ€, Ritva Jaattela (Senior lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences- Finland) who narrated her positive organization`s experience in Nigeria and encouraged other Finnish companies to follow suit.
According to Goldman Sachs Economist, Jim O’Neill , â€œ Nigeria is billed to be amongst the World’s next economic giants, her massive arrays of investment opportunities, large market and strategic position in the Sub-Saharan Africa gave her more advantage as a new investor`s destinationâ€. It therefore becomes expedient at this juncture to implore some key public and organized private sector institutions and personalities to tap into these massive windows of opportunities created by the establishment of this forum and the current investment friendly policies of President Goodluck Jonathan administration in Nigeria with a view to strengthening and broadening the basis of bilateral economic relations between Finland and Nigeria.
Among other future plans of FNFCI is to organize a symposium, this coming summer which will gather all stakeholders from both Nigeria and Finland to develop a roadmap on doing business and investing in Nigeria.