Diasporian News of Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Source: Channels

UK's Chuka Umunna to lead trade mission to Ghana

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has announced that the shadow business secretary of UK’s Labour Party, Chuka Umunna, is to lead a joint LCCI and UKTI North West trade mission to Nigeria and Ghana from the 13th to 17th of May.

Chuka Umunna, a Brit of Nigerian descent, is a fast-rising star of British politics and the 34-year-old is famed as the UK’s version of Barack Obama for his meteoric rise in British politics.

He is a Labour party Member of British Parliament (MP) for Streatham.

A statement by the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos on Wednesday, stated that the mission, “which will visit Lagos in Nigeria and Accra in Ghana, is expected to give small and medium sized businesses the opportunity to meet prospective clients as well as business organisations in both countries.”

A total of 22 companies will be participating in the trade mission from a range of sectors including water purification, industrial paints and the suppliers of commercial vehicles.

Commenting on the planned visit, Chuka Umunna, said “Nigeria is on course to become the leading economy in sub-Saharan Africa in the next decade and Ghana is the UK’s third largest market for exports in this region. Particularly given our historic links, linguistic ties and the large diaspora communities from Nigeria and Ghana here in the UK, there is huge potential for business partnerships.”

He further adds that “emphasis is rightly put on the need to increase our exports to the BRIC economies, but we also need a push to boost trade with the next generation of emerging economies which include a large number of countries in Africa.”

“Sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to achieve a growth rate of over 5 per cent over the next two years and Africa’s middle class is forecast to grow to over 1 billion over the next five decades. That’s why I am looking forward to visiting Nigeria and Ghana next week to champion British business. I hope the trade mission will help build stronger links between the economies of West Africa and the UK” he concluded.

Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said “it is very clear that in order to drive growth we need to get companies developing business partnerships in a range of emerging markets. West Africa offers a huge business potential and I hope that the companies on our mission are able to make the most of all the opportunities on offer.”

The trip will coincide with UKTI’s export week – designed to help businesses export

The LCCI is London’s largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.