FDI: Ayade woos French Investors as Trade Envoys visit Cross River

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State on Friday met with the French ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, and other diplomats in Abuja all in a bid to raise the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) portfolio in the state.

Governor Ayade, who expressed the readiness of Cross River to collaborate with the French Government to develop core sectors of the state, said the state “has enormous investment potentials particularly in Agriculture, Education, Solid Minerals, Road and syourea-port infrastructures as well as tourism.”

The governor also solicited the support of the French Government towards key programmes and projects in the state, listing the West African Fabrication Academy, Banana value chain, Shear butter, Potato value chain, Beef value chain and also the Bakassi deep sea-port and the 275km superhighway, as areas of possible collaboration.

While also making a case for the establishment of a French-Nigerian University in the state to boost academic standard in the country, Ayade noted that his administration “has the most investor-friendly policies in Nigeria,” adding that there were limitless opportunities for French businesses in Cross River State.

In his response, the French Ambassador to Nigeria Jerome Pasquier expressed his country’s willingness to support the state in her quest for development, disclosing that French investors were interested in doing business in Cross River.

Ambassador Pasquier observed that the state was rich in natural resources and investment opportunities which he assured would be exploited by French investors.

The diplomat assured that a trade delegation of French investors and businessmen would be visiting Calabar, the state capital, once the COVID-19 restrictions were over, adding that a team of envoys from the French Embassy in Nigeria would soon visit the state to further assess and ascertain areas of interests, and opportunities for France.

While in the state, the advance delegation, he stressed, would visit projects sites and also synergise with government officials ahead of the trade delegation’s visit.

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