In her meeting with Nigerian captains of industry on 16 March, the Director-General praised Nigeria's efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the country to build on this success. She emphasized the importance of increasing vaccine production, ensuring equitable distribution and making sure that medical goods such as vaccines can cross borders seamlessly.

The Director-General underlined the role that trade can play in helping Nigeria's economy diversify and move from oil dependency towards a modernized and low-carbon economy. Tapping into external demand can help pull people out of low-productivity activities and into more tradable goods and services, she said.

The DG emphasized Nigeria's success in the hospitality, retail, finance, entertainment and app development sectors as examples of how to tap into the endless opportunities digital trade can offer to both small and larger firms. Connecting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and especially women-owned businesses, to regional and international market opportunities is key. More people will then benefit from trade, raising living standards and creating jobs, she said. The WTO provides the underpinning for open and predictable global trade.

In a meeting with women entrepreneurs and representatives of MSMEs on 17 March, DG Okonjo-Iweala stressed the role of women and small businesses in the economy and the need for additional support for their efforts to thrive commercially. The challenges facing women and MSMEs have been worsened by the pandemic, she said. “Lowering the obstacles for businesses of all sizes, and especially women-owned businesses, to participate in international trade would help build back a better economy for everyone after this crisis.”


DG Okonjo-Iweala meets with Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari.

DG Okonjo-Iweala meets with Nigeria's Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

DG Okonjo-Iweala meets with Nigeria's Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

DG Okonjo-Iweala meets with Nigeria's Trade Minister, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.

DG Okonjo-Iweala meets with women entrepreneurs.



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