Africa’s largest bank, Access Bank Plc has launched the Access Bank French Business Desk to strengthen business relationships between Nigeria and France.
The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Roosevelt Ogbonna, said in a statement on Thursday that the act followed the opening of the first subsidiary of Access Bank Plc in the European Union, in Paris.
Ogbonna said the Access Bank French Desk, which was in partnership with Business France, was created as a platform to connect French and Nigerian companies.
He said the act would provide them with financial solutions to conduct trade and investment activities between both countries.
The financial solutions, he said, would be through business advisory services, engagement with relevant institutions, economic roundtables, trade facilitation, and comprehensive banking solutions.
He said the desk would remain the trusted partner that would empower and facilitate business opportunities for Nigerian and French businesses on their journey to success.
“The French Desk will help to strengthen the Bank’s partnership with institutions that shared in its commitment to global economic development.
“We have developed competencies to grow with institutions that have powered us to where we are today even as we continue to create intrinsic value, beneficial to the economies of all the countries where we operate,” Ogbonna said.
He further said that the new desk would serve as the platform to provide enhanced services and support to French businesses and individuals operating in Nigeria and Nigerian businesses with significant interest in France or seeking to establish their presence in France.
“By leveraging the expertise and resources of both Access Bank and Business France, the Desk aims to create dynamic and comprehensive banking solutions tailored specifically to the needs of these businesses.”
The statement also quoted the Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, as saying: “Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy endowed with vast human and natural resources while France possesses technological expertise, innovation and a rich cultural heritage.
“The Access Bank French Desk will play a pivotal role in facilitating trade and investment between our nations.
“It will serve as a knowledge hub, providing valuable insights, intelligence, and networking opportunities for businesses from both countries.”
“We aim to create an enabling environment for French companies to thrive in Nigeria while also assisting Nigerian businesses in navigating the intricacies of the French market.
“Collaboration with multilateral organisations such as PROPACO and AFD will further enhance the impact of the Access Bank French Desk,” Wigwe added.
The statement also quoted Mrs Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, as congratulating Wigwe and welcoming the signing of an agreement with Business France Nigeria to partner on the French Desk.
She said: “This initiative illustrates the huge dynamism and potential of the economic ties between Nigeria and France, which have been continuously strengthened since President Macron’s visit to Nigeria in 2018.
“This Desk will enable us to further strengthen an already substantial economic partnership and benefit companies from both countries, including SMEs”.