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Cablegate: Nigeria: Agoa Focus Products Chosen

VZCZCXRO8147
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #2446 3520853
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170853Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4720
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 0465
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC

UNCLAS ABUJA 002446

SIPDIS

DEPT PASS TO USTR-AGAMA
TREASURY FOR PETERS AND HALL
DOC FOR 3317/ITA/OA/KBURRESS AND 3130/USFC/OIO/ANESA/DHARRIS
USDA/FAS FOR SIMMONS AND MCKINNELL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON EAGR EINV EAID PGOV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: AGOA FOCUS PRODUCTS CHOSEN

REF: A. ABUJA 2340
B. ABUJA 2302
C. ABUJA 2295
D. ABUJA 2278
E. ABUJA 2223
F. ABUJA 2197
G. ABUJA 2177
H. ABUJA 2146
I. ABUJA 1977
J. ABUJA 1925

1. Summary. As part of the Government of Nigeria's (GON) Seven
Point Agenda, it plans to promote sustainable growth in the real
sector of the economy and expand its investments in agriculture. It
further plans to focus on key sectors in which it has a comparative
advantage. The GON's export focus sectors include agriculture,
textiles and garments, leather, handcrafts, and solid minerals. In
order to increase exports under AGOA the GON will require USG
support in developing a strategy for the focus sectors and products
and technical assistance. End Summary.

2. During a meeting on November 17, Laurie-Ann Agama, Director for
African Affairs at the Office of the United States Trade
Representative met with Elizabeth Emuren, Permanent Secretary, of
the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI), and Agama informed
Emurren that the USG wants to support Nigeria to maximize its
benefits under AGOA but the starting point would be to know what
sectors and specific products the GON would focus on in its drive
towards increasing its exports to the U.S under AGOA. On December
12 DepEconOff received from Badeji Abikoye, MCI Director of Trade a
list of Nigera's AGOA focus sectors and products.
.
Nigeria's AGOA Focus Sectors/Products
-------------------------------------
.
3. Abikoye told DepEconOff that the GON selected sectors it
believes it has comparative advantage in and could improve export
performance within a short time. The GON's AGOA focus sectors
include agriculture, textiles and garments, leather, handcrafts, and
solid minerals. The GON also selected some products for each of the
focus sectors.

4. In the agricultural sector the focus products are shea butter,
cashew nuts, ginger, sesame seed and oil, yam, processed cassava
products, spices, sea food products including shrimp, and specialty
foods, while in the textile and garment sector the focus products
include t-shirts, shirts, sports wear, jeans wear, boxers, African
prints, African wax, folkloric local fabrics such as Aso-Oke and
Adire.

5. In the leather sector, the focus products are foot wear, belts,
hand bags, and crest leather, while in the handcrafts sector, the
focus products are interior decorative products, raffia products,
and artworks. The focus products in the solid minerals sector are
granite and precious stones.
.
Next Steps
----------
.
6. Comment: The GON's decision to outline focus sectors is a step
in the right direction and follows USG engagement under the Trade
and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) umbrella. This action
hopefully provides a basis for developing workable strategies for
improving Nigeria's non-oil export performance, and eventually
diversifying the economy and reducing its dependence on crude oil
exports. The first step is for the GON to take the initiative in
providing the necessary financial resources and policy changes to
improve the export environment. The GON will require USG technical
assistance in developing a workable plan and implementation to
support exports where it has true price and quality advantages.
USAID has just undertaken an analysis of the barriers to trade that
has been presented to some members of the GON and it will follow up
discussions with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as soon as
possible. From the list of sectors and past knowledge, the USG team
will want to assess further the competitiveness of the identified
GON sectors. The Mission's Framework for Partnership with the GON
and its Trade and Investment Working Group and the next TIFA Council
Meeting in January 2009 provide an opportunity for further USG
coordinated assistance. End Comment.

SANDERS

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