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Access Bank moves to tap into $4 bln Nigeria trade with France, sets up business desk in Lagos

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Access Corporation Plc on Wednesday disclosed that it was set to tap into the over $4 billion in trade Nigeria had with France with the launch of a business desk in Lagos.

The Business Desk aims to build a strong business relationship between France (Francophonie) and Nigeria.

Speaking on the occasion of the visit of the French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie, and International Partnerships to Nigeria, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the Group Managing Director, Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, stated that Access Bank’s French Desk strategic platform would serve as a vital link between Business France, PROPACO, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and other multilateral organizations.

Wigwe, while speaking to a group of customers and other stakeholders, said, “The Business Desk will provide tailored support and guidance to French businesses operating in Nigeria, as well as Nigerian businesses seeking to expand their presence in France.”

He noted that the journey of the financial institution began with President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to Access Bank to establish a presence in Paris.

He said the invitation was a testament to Nigeria’s growing economic ties and the recognition of Access Bank’s role in facilitating trade and investment at global levels.

He said the management of the bank embraced the opportunity with great enthusiasm and recently established an office in Paris.

“With the creation of our French Desk, we are taking another significant step towards strengthening business ties between Nigeria and France.

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“Your attendance speaks volumes about your unwavering commitment, optimism, and belief in the potential of Nigeria as a thriving market and your determination to contribute to its growth.

“We recognize the immense potential that lies within the Franco-Nigerian business relationship.  By harnessing the strengths of both nations, we can unlock new opportunities, drive sustainable growth, and create shared prosperity. The Access Bank French Desk will play a pivotal role in facilitating trade and investment between our nations.

“It will serve as a knowledge hub, providing valuable insights, market intelligence, and networking opportunities for businesses from both countries.  By leveraging our extensive network and expertise, we aim to create an enabling environment for French companies to thrive in Nigeria while also assisting Nigerian businesses in navigating the intricacies of the French market,” Wigwe said.

The bank chief added: “These partnerships will enable us to tap into their extensive networks, leverage their expertise in various sectors, and access funding opportunities that will support the growth and expansion of businesses operating in Nigeria and France.

“I am convinced that with initiatives like the Access Bank French Desk, we can forge a prosperous future, driven by collaboration, innovation, and mutual respect. Let us embrace this exciting opportunity to forge stronger ties, create shared value, and build a better future for our nations.”

Zacharopoulou, in her response, expressed optimism that the Business Desk, located in Lagos, would strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and French companies, particularly the medium-sized ones.

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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