Efforts by the Godwin Obaseki-led administration to harness the vast economic opportunities in the global auto industry through the state’s economic diversification strategy have begun yielding result as 36 chief executive officers of leading global auto brands and component suppliers, arrive Benin City on Wednesday.
The high-profile meeting between the Edo State government and chief executives of German, Japanese, American, British and other European top-range car manufacturers, will focus on the emerging investor-friendly climate in Edo State and how the companies can leverage the socio-economic offerings in the Benin Industrial Park by locating their assembly plants in the facility.
The 36 chief executive officers overseeing the Africa operations of their companies, include those of BMW, NISSAN, Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, Bosch, Jaguar, and Deloitte, a consulting company, and Uber, amongst others. The governor said “the one-day event will discuss our agenda for the auto sector and the opportunities we are creating for investors.” He added that “during the meeting, we will showcase the Edo State’s auto trading site on Sapele Road and the future trading site at the Industrial Park also on Sapele Road. “There will be a session to discuss government’s blueprint for the automotive sector which includes job creation for Edo people, the local sourcing of car components amid an environment of high exchange rate regime and volatility, which have made local sourcing of components cost-effective.” The automotive investment forum follows a recent $500 million auto assembly plant deal with Chinese investors. The growing investor confidence in Edo State stems from market-oriented reform of the Obaseki administration, driving the industrialisation of the state. Obaseki explained that his administration is vigorously pursuing the goal to turn the state into an industrial hub and a major investment corridor by strengthening the state’s security architecture and reform of critical business-support institutions to improve the ease of doing business.