Maritime expert calls for balance of trade with Nigeria's trading partners

 Chief Kunle Folarin, Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC) on Wednesday said Nigeria should work toward a balance of trade with her trading partners.

In an interview in Lagos, Folarin said that Nigeria must benefit from its trade relations (imports and exports) with any country.

He, however, said that such countries could engage in direct investments in Nigeria; even if Nigeria was not exporting any commodity to them in return.

``When you look at Nigeria as an import-dependent country, where we import over 100 million tonnes of cargo directly every year, and we are not able or strengthened to take part of it.

``Then, that is an indicator; performance indicator we have to look at.

``We have to also look at the bilateral trade, which is skewed toward the country which we traditionally trade with.

``If we are buying or importing from for example, Thailand, may be 25 tonnes of rice a year, what is Thailand buying from us?

``So, we have to look at it for other countries too for which we are buying huge commodities regularly, even in terms of investments in the country.

``We have to see whether we are buying from them and they are investing, not necessarily in the same commodity, but they are investing in the country.

``It will even be better if they are buying our exports so that the balance of payment position will be fair,’’ Folarin said.

Folarin said that a nation’s export performance determined its foreign exchange earnings.
He called for strengthening of the export platform by developing the  agricultural sector.