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Support platform for Czech companies: EUROCHAM Nigeria

On 7 May 2024, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Nigeria received a letter of acceptance to the European Chamber of Commerce of Nigeria (EUROCHAM Nigeria) based in Lagos. This organisation under the auspices of the EU intends to serve to better promote the commercial interests of member states and to strengthen the common bargaining position in removing barriers to entry into the Nigerian market. Associate membership of the organisation also brings additional benefits to the Embassy in the form of networking and analysis by EUROCHAM Nigeria which it will now has at its disposal. However, EUROCHAM Nigeria is not primarily for embassies, but for European, and therefore also Czech, companies and business associations that would like to gain a new foothold in the country through this route.

EUROCHAM Nigeria is built on the principles of mutual growth and partnership and serves as a key platform for promoting trade and investment between Europe and Nigeria. The chamber identifies issues hindering development and key topics for successful business in the country. One of the Chamber's useful outputs has been, for example, the mapping of EU companies operating in Nigeria. The survey was conducted in 2023 and is expected to be conducted regularly every two years in the future.

Since EUROCHAM was established at the EU-Nigeria Business Forum in October 2018, the Chamber has grown to include more than 50 corporate and 12 associate members (embassies of European countries). EUROCHAM also has a number of bilateral chambers, demonstrating the wide range of European business interests in Nigeria. As an active participant in the global network of EBO (European Business Organizations), the chamber is also in contact with several other countries outside Europe, ensuring its global reach.

EUROCHAM President Yann Gilbert and Marie Nwanyanwu

EUROCHAM President Yann Gilbert and Marie Nwanyanwu

Following a meeting in March between Economic Diplomat Marie Nwanyanwnu and EUROCHAM's President, Mr. Yann Gilbert, the Embassy concluded that participation in the organisation could enrich the Office's information channels. The Embassy therefore formally applied to join the organisation on 6 May, only to receive a letter of acceptance the very next day, 7 May 2024.

A coveted benefit of membership is the opportunity to actively participate in collective bargaining for better access to the Nigerian market for Czech companies (legislative obstruction, non-transparency and other trade or investment barriers). Shared materials, analyses and reports from EUROCHAM meetings are also an advantage. Last but not least, the Embassy plans to actively use social events and professional seminars, which provide a suitable platform for networking with the government and private sector and a platform for presenting Czech business interests.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Nigeria is actively involved in promoting European-Nigerian trade relations. The Embassy believes that membership in EUROCHAM Nigeria is not only a further demonstration of these efforts, but also a strengthening of Czech-Nigerian bilateral economic relations and, above all, a benefit for Czech businesses. All of these benefits, and many others, can be enjoyed by companies that apply for full membership in the Chamber. EUROCHAM is perceived by the Embassy not only as a business tool for Czech companies and business associations, in some cases it could even become an important pillar of trade and investment activity in the region.

 

Author: Marie Nwanyanwu, Economic Diplomat, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Nigeria