On February 9th, some 30 companies attended the ‘Niger Business Day’ at the World Trade Center in The Hague.
An overview of the business opportunities in Niger was given by Inès Mazou, the Economic Attaché of the Nigerien Embassy in Brussels. “We want to bring our country to the next level of development,” she stressed. Niger is 28 times larger than The Netherlands, and has a population of 20 million. It is endowed with myriad natural resources, but in the south there is also quite some agricultural activities.
Ente Groot of JP Beemsterboer Food Traders listened patiently to Mazou’s presentation. “Niger is an interesting country for us,” he said. Beemsterboer exports food products to West-Africa, including vegetables, mayonnaise and French fries. “Niger is also active in food production, so we also see possibilities for them in exporting agricultural products,” he said.
Logistics to the remote areas
Import and export comes with logistic challenges. That is why Addie Bom, General Manager of Greenshields & Partners BV, is attending the Niger Business Day. “We specialise in transporting goods to and from Africa. But we don’t stop at the ports, we also strive to deliver in the remote areas,” Bom said. “From the ports of West-Africa there are tarmacked roads all the way up to Agadez in Northern Niger,” he knows, “but a good road is not the only challenge to be aware of.” Bom has also noticed an increase in transportation to and from Niger in recent years. “We acknowledge increasing interest in doing business in Niger,” he said.
Ms Mazou, the Nigerien Economic Attaché, explained about the ‘3N’ approach. ‘Les Nigériens Nourissent les Nigériens,’ whereby the aim is to become a self-supporting country. In her presentation, Ms. Mazou showed here excitement about the latest World Bank ‘doing business’ ranking, which indicated that setting up a business in Niger has become significantly easier in the past year.
NABC organizes a trade mission to Niger between March 6th and 10th. More information or registration can be done here.