Netherlands Overtakes India As Nigeria’s Second Largest Trading Partner In 2023

The Netherlands has emerged as Nigeria’s second-largest trading partner in 2023, surpassing India according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

While China remains the top trading partner with a record N7.49 trillion in trade volume, the Netherlands saw a dramatic rise to N6.32 trillion, a 21 percent year-on-year increase. India, on the other hand, managed only a 4 percent growth, reaching N5.9 trillion.

India, previously a major player, has seen its dominance wane. While it started strong in 2015, its trade volume peaked in 2019 before experiencing a steeper decline during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both nations rebounded in 2021, the Netherlands exhibited a more robust growth trajectory, culminating in its current position.

While India became Nigeria’s second-largest import partner (N2.89 trillion in imports in 2023), imports from the Netherlands dropped (N1.81 trillion in 2023). This was offset by a surge in Nigerian exports to the Netherlands (N4.52 trillion in 2023), nearly doubling from the previous year.

The report suggests several factors contributing to the Netherlands’ rise. Factors such as the strategic moves by the Netherlands to strengthen bilateral ties in key sectors like agriculture, technology, and sustainable energy.

Additionally, the Netherlands’ geographical advantage with major ports like Rotterdam was suggested to have facilitated smoother trade flow.

Recent developments like the Nigeria-Netherlands Bilateral Working Group, investment treaties, and President Tinubu’s visit to the Netherlands point towards a deepening economic relationship between the two countries. Notably, the Netherlands significantly increased its investments in Nigeria during 2023.

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