Nigeria has superseded South Africa as the major trading partner of the Republic of Korea on the African continent, Director, Korea-Africa Foundation, Lyeo Woon-ki, has said.
He disclosed this in Abuja at a media parley. Lyeo explained that trade between Nigeria and Korea was two billion dollars in 2021 but that the current figures indicate that the trade volume for 2022 reached over $1.5 billion as of June this year, which has already surpassed the trade volume between Korea and South Africa.
“The trade volume between Nigeria and Korea is bigger than between Korea and South Africa. In 2021, the figure was around $2 billion, and by half of this year, the figure has gone beyond $1.5 billion.”
He added, “All of these happened despite the COVID-19 pandemic and limited trading. We are sure it will be about two billion dollars by the end of the current year. The trade balance between the two countries is almost equal,”
He also added that the Korea-Africa Foundation was established to facilitate business and cultural cooperation between Korea and the continent.
Lyeo was sad that while Koreans are eager to come to Nigeria for business and cultural activities, the news about the country that is available to the Korean public is highly objectionable.
He said: “Unfortunately, the news about the country (Nigeria) portrays the country as a dangerous place to live. However, my experience is completely different from what I read before coming. I have met a lot of Nigerians these last few days since I came into the country, and I can say they are warm and receptive people. Nigeria needs to do a lot more to portray the image of Nigeria abroad.”
Lyeo disclosed that the Foundation would collaborate with the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Industry to deepen trade cooperation between the two countries. The Ambassador of Korea to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, described Nigerian youths as vibrant and technology savvy.