Nigeria-South Korea Trade Volume Declines to $1.8b

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By Dipo Olowookere

There has been a sharp decline in the trade volume between Nigeria and South Korea in the past few months, the Asia country’s Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs, Ambassador Jongmoon Choi, has said.

The envoy expressed concern over this sharp decline, attributing it to investors’ loss of confidence following the revocation of the Korean National oil Company (KNOC) oil blocs, OPL 321 and 323.

Ambassador Choi noted that Nigeria needs to resolve the KNOC’s oil blocs’ issues and urged the government to do this.

During a meeting with officials of Nigeria in Abuja, the South Korean envoy revealed that in 2015, the trade volume between both countries stood at $1.8 billion in 2015, a decrease of $2.7 billion from the previous year which was $4.5 billion.

“The trade volume between the two countries was about 4 billion dollars in 2013 and in 2014 it was about 4.5 billion dollars. This was higher but unfortunately our trade volume has a bit slid back which concerns us,” he said.

According to him, in 2005, KNOC won the bid for two oil prospecting licenses under a concessionary agreement in exchange for strategic investments worth seven billion dollars in power, gas pipelines, fertiliser, railway modernisation and construction of shipyard.

But in 2009 the KNOC oil blocs were revoked and have since become a litigation issue.

However, the Permanent Secretary in Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sola Enikaolaye, promised to continue to strengthen the relationship between both countries.

He said South Korea remained Nigeria’s strategic partner “within the auspices of our international relations,” adding that, “Our relationship has been very good we have seen it blossom.”

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