The Regional Director and Country Representative of UNIDO, Dr. Patrick Kormawa, has said that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will enable countries to explore and develop their potential.

Kormawa made this remark at the 2012 Dinner and the unveiling of “ICC Guidelines for International Trade’’, organised by the International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN) in Lagos.

He said that foreign investors should collaborate with the public and private sectors of the economy to develop entrepreneurship capabilities of their host countries.

According to him, FDI will record more success if the country focuses on the creation of infrastructure that can grow and sustain the manufacturing sector.

“We need to invest in infrastructure, institutions, skills and innovations that are needed to power investment.

“Nigeria, as an emerging economy should learn from the success stories of developed countries. We should adapt their innovations.

“Having a vibrant and productive manufacturing sector will give potential investors the confidence that their business will survive and grow.

“It will also increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Balance of Trade and create employment opportunities in the country,’’ he said.

Kormawa said that foreign investors should be compelled to produce goods in conformity with international standards and guidelines in order to penetrate global market.

He said that Nigeria, being an emerging economy, had the potential to attract foreign investment in spite of the current security and climatic challenges.

“The security issues we are facing in the country are not a peculiar one. There are security challenges all over the world.

“Other nations of the world have also had their fair share of natural disasters and harsh climatic conditions. The recent flooding in Nigeria should not be an impediment to foreign investment.

He appealed to the government to support the acceleration of regional integration, saying that such support would lead to an increase in intra-Africa trade.

Chief Ernest Shonekan, a former Interim National Government President, noted that the ICC guidelines would accelerate the growth and success of FDI in Nigeria.

Shonekan, who was the Chairman of the occasion, explained further that the new guideline was extensive and all embracing, adding: “it consist rules of business as they are practiced internationally.

“For FDI to grow our economy, it needs these guidelines to succeed.

‘We should look at the guidelines as a way of overcoming some of our economic challenges and learning from other developed economies how they coped with theirs,’’ he said.

Shonekan expressed delight on ICCN quest to support the growth of FDI in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Chairman ICCN, Mr Babatunde Savage, noted that the promotion of FDI had been a priority for the organisation for a long time.

He said that the importance of trade and investment as drivers of the economy, could not be over-emphasised, adding that various issues were challenging cross border trade.

“In Nigeria, like many other developing nations, poor micro-economic and institutional constraints have watered down the impact of cross-border investment on productivity and investment growth.

“Conducive policy and regulatory environment, investment-friendly tax and the removal of capital controls are essential to attract and retain FDI in any economy,’’ he said.

Savage said that the ICC Guidelines clearly explained the responsibility of an investor, the home government and the host government, in relation to international investment.

By Lily