A total of $400million trade volume has been targeted between the Nigerian government and its Ukrainian counterpart within the next one year, the Guardian reported .

The trade volume between the two countries as at December 2005 stood at over $200 million and this is expected to double by the end of 2006.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Oleh Skoropad, who disclosed this to the media yesterday in Lagos after a meeting of Nigerian-Ukrainian Business Council members, stated that the projected amount would be easy to attain if Nigerian government engaged in exportation of timber products to Ukraine to complement the 50,000 metric tones of fertilizer, already being exported to Nigeria every month.

The ambassador, who was represented by the first secretary on economic matters to the Embassy of Ukraine, Andriy Radko, said that the export of machinery and equipment, particularly tractors, trucks and electric generators, from Ukraine to Nigeria would also contribute to the targeted volume.

Skoropad stated that the Ukrainian business community had become more active in seeking to invest in various sectors of the Nigerian economy, through participation in the privatization of public enterprises.

According to him, Ukraine, which also is a major producer of iron steel, is willing to invest in the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

His words: "The Company Leman-Ukraine, representing the interest of leading Ukrainian iron and steel producers, is involved in the international tender for the purchase of the majority of shares of iron and steel in Delta and Plateau states. There are over 200 specialists from Ukraine currently working in the Ajaokuta Steel Company."

He, therefore, urged Nigerian exporters to use the opportunity of the new business relationship to invest in the exportation of goods that are of high demand in Ukraine.

The ambassador expressed optimism that the newly formed Nigerian-Ukraine Business Council (NUBC) would not only promote closer tiers between both countries, but also facilitate growth in volume of trade.

Mr. Clement Maduako, the chairman of the NUBC, enjoined Nigerians to exploit the opportunities available in Ukraine by investing in the exportation of timber, as according to him, the product is highly demanded in Ukraine.

He said that the council would embark on a trade mission to Ukraine in May, so as to give members opportunity of knowing what they could export to the country.

He, therefore, urged all interested participants to get in touch with the council for details on the proposed trip to Ukraine.


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