The 17-Country West African region with a huge population and formidable economic dynamism has been the hub of international businesses of recent. This position has attracted among others the likes of the Chinese and the Arabs, whose trade and economic presence in the region were relatively unknown till few decades ago.
However, despite their interests in this haven of trade possibilities, the existing Central Eastern European trade sub-offices across the region are either under-utilizing their presence or not having any success in their trade ventures possibly due to: lack of the required knowledge of the cultures and environment; lack of workable market strategies, lack of honest local contents, rigorous trade policies that are not practicable in the region, readiness to take needed risks among others.
In reality though, few of these European countries tried making the necessary trade explorations, but often hit the rock and always in a hurry to pack and go. For example the discontinue of the Hungarian Trade House sub-offices in Nigeria that was structured to cover economic potentials across West Africa suffered due to the demise of this exercise globally by the Hungarian government. The offices of the Czech Republic commercial attaches are relatively unknown to most people in the region, the Serbian embassy in Abuja is often empty, and in most cases business exhibitions are not properly followed up with do-able and reachable ventures by the participants.
To rectify these oodles of trade barriers, the Europeans should be ready to integrate into the society and not to create unnecessary barriers for themselves while here in Africa; work towards having a trustworthy local contents that will link them with the potential local business partners and opportunities, operate with flexible policies and be ready just as the Chinese and others to take needed trade risks and stay so as to establish themselves in West Africa. There should be constant cross cluster networking that will encourage awareness and openness and that can breed trust among the countries concern.
Universal Diplomats Ltd | CEEWABA