G-20: President Tinubu meets with German, Indian, South Korean leaders

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, on Sunday held bilateral meetings with the leaders of Germany, South Korea, and the host country, India, at the end of 18th G-20 Summit.

They are German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The three nations have been identified as key partners in his economic development diplomacy drive for local investment and wealth creation,” a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, disclosed on Sunday.

The statement is titled ‘President Tinubu formally meets with three major counterparts in economic development diplomacy; advances to practical next steps in bilateral relations.’

The Nigerian Leader began his day with a meeting with the Chancellor of Europe’s largest economy, Germany.

Ngelale revealed that Meeting Scholz presented a unique opportunity to expand ties of prosperity for Nigerians but with a pragmatic approach toward ensuring the effective execution of agreements struck.

Tinubu told the German helmsman, “It is not, for us, only a matter of designing the financial architecture for an expanded economic partnership.

“It is also about the practicality of aligning the perspectives of your large-scale manufacturers, such as Volkswagen and others, with the reality of the new incentives my government is putting in place for them to come and prosper across multiple value chains and sectors inside of our country.”

Responding to the economic focus of Tinubu’s proposal, the German Chancellor acknowledged the mutually beneficial nature of an escalation in the scale of economic ties with Nigeria.

He said, “Thank you for this important discussion, Mr. President. I appreciate this opportunity to advance our economic relations. Your market is unique and our companies have a history in Nigeria.

“We acknowledge the business-friendly reforms you have put in place.

“I am happy to inform you of my desire to visit you in Nigeria in October, which will allow us to carry forward these initiatives,” the German leader confided.

Following the President’s acceptance of the Chancellor’s request to visit, Tinubu proceeded with his discussions with the Leader of Asia’s fourth-largest economy, South Korea.

President Yeol commended the President’s regional leadership in upholding democratic tenets and norms.

“I wish to commend your strong leadership, following the peaceful transfer of power to you from your predecessor and we see a stable country in West Africa that is growing in stature,” he said.

Responding, President Tinubu steered the conversation toward his economic focus as he immediately advanced proposals for an enhanced South Korean presence in Nigeria’s local manufacturing sector.

He affirmed, “We will leave nothing hanging. We will finalise what we agree to and we will execute.

“We will work point by point with you to secure rapidly implementable MoUs across sectors of partnership that will involve the active presence of your biggest firms, not just in terms of Nigerian consumption, but in local Nigerian production, from telecommunications to technology, and oil & gas.”

While noting that Nigeria’s education, technology, and energy sectors are of utmost interest to South Korean investors, Yeol promised to mobilise his business community to take advantage of new Nigerian incentives for local industry.

Inviting the South Korean leader to visit Nigeria, President Tinubu concluded formal discussions at the G-20 with the Asian giant and host nation, which had invited Nigeria to the G-20 Summit, as he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“There are many lessons our nation can learn from the rapid progress that India has made under your leadership.

“We see fantastic opportunity between our nations across sectors, such as agricultural development, but specifically, there is more we can do to advance ICT innovation and the emergence of Blue-Chip FinTech growth in Africa.

“Nigeria has the local players who can drive it from the front,” he affirmed.

The host leader received the proposal for economic partnership, thanking Tinubu for inviting him to visit Nigeria.

Modi said, “Our teams must now stay close in touch to detail our priority areas of upscaled cooperation with respect to agriculture, defense industries capacity building, and even FinTech growth.

“I see your commitment. We believe there are immense prospects for Nigeria in the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and we will ensure that we come together and make progress on these fronts very rapidly.”

President Tinubu also had substantive, informal interactions with U.S. President Joe Biden; European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen; and World Bank President, Ajay Banga, amongst many others.