In what has been termed the largest trade exhibition by Nigerian-based businesses in the United Kingdom in recent times and a major move in increasing Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, leading financial institution Fidelity Bank Plc hosted the maiden edition of its international trade expo.
Held at Novotel West, Hammersmith in London on Tuesday, 15 and Wednesday, 16 November 2022, the Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect (FITCC) featured activities designed to position Nigerian businesses for increased partnership, financing, product-offtake and investment opportunities in the UK and Europe.
“In collaboration with our strategic partners, we have created this platform to connect Nigerian exporters with UK buyers. This inaugural edition of the Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect (FITCC) hosts more than 100 exhibitors from Nigeria with product offerings ranging from processed food to fashion, fintech and the arts.
“Fidelity Bank Plc is a leading financial institution in Nigeria and a market leader in supporting small and medium scale enterprises and export-oriented businesses. This event is an extension of the support we provide to the business ecosystem to help them compete favourably on the global stage”, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, the MD/CEO said.
The well-attended event included keynote addresses by Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman, African Export and Import Bank (AFREXIM) and Aminu Takuma, Regional Coordinator, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
They discussed “Leveraging International Partnerships to Transform Africa’s Trade & Creatives” and “Selling Nigeria to the World (Spotlighting Investment Opportunities and Incentives)”, respectively, on Day 1 of the conference.
On Day 2, Mustafa Chike-Obi, Fidelity Bank Chairman spoke on “Connecting Nigeria to the World Through Trade Enhancements and Creative Exchange”; Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, anchored a chat on “Fintech and the Creative Economy: The New Growth Frontiers for Nigeria” with Patrick Smith, Africa Confidential Editor.
Minister of State (Development and Africa), Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP delivered the government’s keynote address and goodwill message.
“The UK is an obvious market for Nigeria with our common language, flourishing diaspora community and complimentary timezones; and Nigeria’s economic potentials is a great fit for many UK businesses and investors.
“I thank Fidelity Bank for working with the UK to strengthen business links between us. Trade and investment has been a major focus for our governments in recent years. Nigeria benefits from preferential access to the UK market through our Developing Markets Trading Scheme”, Mitchell added.
The FITCC had panel and breakout discussions, exhibitions by over 100 Nigerian firms, and networking sessions to help businesses scale up their ventures. Exhibitors included top players in the commodity, agro, creative, entertainment and fintech sub-sectors.
The expo climaxed with a gala dinner that featured a curated fashion exhibition by Nigerian-born British-based designer, David Eweje (David Wej), 41 Luxe by Vou Brown, and a performance by Nigerian-British afrobeat musician, Dele Sosimi.