Washington – USA
David Gilmour, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State has said that the balance of trade between the United States and Nigeria is increasing but could be better.
“There is a lot of technical assistance going on in the area of agriculture. There is progress but maybe not as fast,” he said on Monday while welcoming a group of African journalists currently taking part in the African Journalist Security and Press Freedom Reporting Tour of the United States.
Gilmour who commended President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigerians for a peaceful election and transfer of power in Nigeria, said the United States government is interested in having Nigeria and other African countries increase their capacity to export their products to America.
In order to make this happen, he said the U.S government is helping African countries and businesses with technical assistance and advise on what can sell in America and how to approach the American market.
Beyond that, Gilmour said Africa needs to improve the business climate and encourage more inflow of foreign investment by ensuring “political stability, rule of law, an efficient legal system that allows for enforcement of contracts, predictable tax regimes as well as curb corruption.”
He explained that these are some of the reasons the U.S. places strong emphasis on building democratic institutions.
“There is the need for strong institutions like police, judiciary and others…We need these things so that businesses can invest in Africa and add value to the raw materials,” he said.