Bilateralism makes possible infrastructure in Lagos, powered by China.
Infrastructure in Lagos, powered by China. The Lagos Light rail project ©Devesh Uba. Source:

Bilateralism is a global phenomenon, like multiteralism, manifested in the dimensions of the economic, cultural, and political at public and private sector’s levels. In its economic dimension, bilateralism of government level involves trade and investment relations between two sovereign nations with the objective of stimulating, supporting, and strengthening economic development of nations. Economic relations between the nations constituted the environment of operation for their private sectors. Thus, at the private sector’s level, bilateral chamber of commerce such as the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, a Nigerian private sector’s expression of bilateralism in Nigerian economy, promotes these relations. Bilateralism is therefore a web in the global business networking with the aim of providing information on overseas markets and discussing issues in bilateral economic relations.

Being a developing country, Nigeria relied on the developed countries for the importation of capital and consumer goods as well as technological now-how (through foreign private investment) to stimulate growth in sectors of her economy. Several arguments have been raised for and against economic relations between two nations with wide differential levels of economic development. The position of the political economist is that economic relations between the developed and developing nations will continue to create a lopsided economic development to the disadvantage of the later. The benefit of the chamber appears however to be double-edged.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer