The President of the France Nigeria Business Council, Dr Herbert Wigwe, has launched ‘Access Bank’s French Desk’ to provide support and guidance to French businesses operating in Nigeria, and businesses seeking to expand their presence in France.

Wigwe, who is also the group chief executive officer of Access Holdings Plc, launched the desk at its head office in Lagos on Wednesday, when the bank hosted the Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, Mrs Chrysoula Zacharopoulou.

The event was attended by chief executive officers of French businesses.

Speaking at the launch, Wigwe said, “This strategic platform will serve as a vital link between Business France, PROPACO, AFD, and other multilateral organisations.

“It will provide tailored support and guidance to French businesses operating in Nigeria, as well as Nigerian businesses seeking to expand their presence in France.”

Giving more details on its operations, he added that, “Our journey began with President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to Access Bank to establish a presence in Paris.

“Apart from his passion for the development of socio-economic relationships between our countries, the President’s invitation was a testament to our growing economic ties and the recognition of Access Bank’s role in facilitating trade and investment at global levels.”

He said it embraced the opportunity with great enthusiasm and recently established its office in Paris.

With the creation of the French Desk, he said, the bank was taking another significant step towards strengthening business ties between Nigeria and France.

Addressing the guests, he said, “Your attendance speaks volumes about your unwavering commitment, optimism, and belief in the potential of Nigeria as a thriving market and your determination to contribute to its growth.

“We recognise the immense potential that lies within the Franco-Nigerian business relationship. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, endowed with vast human and natural resources, while France possesses technological expertise, innovation, and a rich cultural heritage.”

By harnessing the strengths of both nations, he noted that they could unlock new opportunities, drive sustainable growth, and create shared prosperity.

Access Bank French Desk, he explained, would play a pivotal role in facilitating trade and investment between our nations.

“It will serve as a knowledge hub, providing valuable insights, market intelligence, and networking opportunities for businesses from both countries,” Wigwe said.