We are committed to free trade, Buhari assures WTO

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By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari said Monday in Abuja that Nigeria remains fully committed to free international trade, despite its present economic circumstances.

President Buhari spoke at an audience in the Presidential Villa with the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ambassador Roberto Azevedo.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari assured the WTO boss that Nigeria would remain part of the world market, in spite of the dwindling price of oil.

“I am glad that you are aware of the position we’ve found ourselves, the state of our economy, our consumption pattern, and many others. Despite it all, we remain committed to the ideals of free international trade championed by the WTO,” the President said.

The WTO boss expressed delight that Nigeria had continued to work with multilateral organizations, adding that the trade group would soon start conversations on important issues for the country, including development of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), which he described as biggest employers of labour in developing countries.

“We want to bring the private sector close, so that we can understand the main challenges.

“Nigeria has a big part to play, though the times are difficult. Prices of oil are unprecedentedly low, emerging economies are slowing down, and commodity prices are shrinking. But majority of WTO members know that there is no gain in blocking goods,” the WTO boss stated.

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