In what has been termed the largest trade exhibition by Nigerian-based businesses in the United Kingdom in recent times and a major move in increasing Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, leading financial institution –Fidelity Bank Plc hosted the maiden edition of its international trade expo.
Held at Novotel West, Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom on Tuesday, 15 and Wednesday, 16 November 2022, the expo tagged -the Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect (FITCC), featured a host of activities designed to position Nigerian businesses for increased partnership, financing, product-offtake and investment opportunities in the United Kingdom and Europe.
“In collaboration with our strategic partners, we have created this platform to connect Nigerian exporters with UK buyers. This inaugural edition of the Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect (FITCC) hosts more than 100 exhibitors from Nigeria with product offerings ranging from processed food to fashion, fintech and the arts.
Fidelity Bank Plc is a leading financial institution in Nigeria and a market leader in supporting small and medium scale enterprises and export-oriented businesses. This event is therefore an extension of the support that we provide to the business ecosystem in Nigeria as work to help them compete favourably on the global stage”, explained Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, MD/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc in her welcome remarks.
The well-attended event also featured keynote addresses by Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman, African Export and Import Bank (AFREXIM) and Aminu Takuma, Regional Coordinator, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) who discussed “Leveraging International Partnerships to Transform Africa’s Trade & Creatives” and “Selling Nigeria to the World (Spotlighting Investment Opportunities and Incentives) respectively on Day 1 of the conference.
Mustafa Chike-Obi, Chairman, Fidelity Bank Plc gave a keynote address titled, “Connecting Nigeria to the World Through Trade Enhancements and Creative Exchange” while Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria also anchored a fireside chat on “Fintech and the Creative Economy: The New Growth Frontiers for Nigeria” with Patrick Smith, Editor, Africa Confidential both on Day 2 of the conference.
Giving the UK Government’s keynote address and goodwill message at the expo, the Minister of State (Development and Africa), Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP expressed his gratitude to Fidelity Bank for putting together the conference, stating, “The UK is an obvious market for Nigeria with our common language, flourishing diaspora community and complimentary timezones; and Nigeria’s economic potentials is a great fit for many UK businesses and investors. So, I thank Fidelity Bank for working with the UK to strengthen business links between us. Trade and investment has been a major focus for our governments in recent years. Nigeria benefits from preferential access to the UK market through our Developing Markets Trading Scheme”.
FITCC also featured panel and breakout discussions, exhibitions by more than 100 Nigerian businesses as well as several networking sessions designed to help participating businesses scale up their ventures. Exhibitors at the event included top players in the commodities, agro, creative, entertainment and fintech sub-sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The expo climaxed with a gala dinner on Wednesday, 16 November 2022 that featured a curated fashion exhibition by Nigerian-born British-based designer, David Eweje (David Wej) and 41 Luxe by Vou brown as well as a musical performance by Nigerian-British afrobeat musician, Dele Sosimi.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 7 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.