Mayor Sylvester Turner and Jo Jo Dancer. Photo courtesy of Jo Jo Dancer.Mayor Sylvester Turner announced sweeping new police reforms at a City Hall press conference on April 29, 2021.

Houston is gearing up for the much-anticipated Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect (FITCC) Trade Expo Oct.24-25, 2023, at the prestigious George Brown Convention Center, and Mayor Sylvester Turner is welcoming the expo in full support.

This expo’s goal is to strengthen bilateral trade ties between Nigeria and Houston, offering a platform for business expansion, collaboration, and the exploration of emerging trends.

FITCC Houston, the second edition of this globally acclaimed expo, follows the resounding success of its first event last November in London. Fidelity Bank, a full-fledged customer commercial bank, is poised to replicate this success on Texan soil by promoting Nigeria’s non-oil exports and facilitating integration into global supply-chain networks.

Guests will be treated to exhibitions featuring some of Nigeria’s most prominent businesses operating in diverse sectors, including commodities, agriculture, FINTECH, fashion, arts, and allied industries. Moreover, a series of enlightening panel discussions will take place, where stakeholders, business leaders, and regulatory experts from the United States and Nigeria will explore bilateral trade opportunities.

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced sweeping new police reforms at a City Hall press conference on April 29, 2021. 

Mayor Turner: A Catalyst for Bilateral Trade and New Possibilities

Turner is dubbing the expo a “catalyst to support bilateral trade between Nigeria and Houston.” He views this expo as a golden opportunity for both the local Houston community and the diaspora to delve into emerging trends, foster new partnerships, and unlock fresh possibilities.

Underlining the expo’s significance, Turner traveled on a Trade and Investment Mission to West Africa, which he personally led during the summer. He emphasized how such missions highlight the inclusivity of Houston and unveil myriad economic opportunities for companies of all sizes to engage in mutually beneficial relationships, tourism, and bilateral trade with Africa.

“To do business, you must first establish a relationship, and we hope that the relationships created from our trade mission to West Africa will expand the economic, trade, and cultural ties,” he said in an official statement. This collaborative initiative is envisioned to pave the way for mutual prosperity between the City of Houston and Africa for decades to come.

The Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs (MOTIA) played a pivotal role by organizing a large, multi-sector trade and investment mission to Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana. This mission aimed to strengthen government and business relationships between the City of Houston and these dynamic West African countries, build on existing ties, explore new bi-lateral economic opportunities, and enhance cultural and civic engagement.

Houston: A Gateway for International Trade

Houston’s status as Africa’s second-largest urban trade partner in the U.S. and its home to one of the largest Nigerian diasporas make it the perfect backdrop for FITCC Houston. The city boasts a diverse and dynamic business community that continually strives to enhance its appeal as a hub for international trade.

As a key gateway for trade to the central and western United States, Houston’s strategic geographic location, robust infrastructure, and international business sectors have made it a focal point of global activities. Houston’s credentials include its position as the energy capital of the world, hosting NASA, the world’s largest medical center, and the Port of Houston, the largest U.S. port in foreign tonnage.

Turner sums up Houston’s commitment to strengthening ties with Africa, noting, “As the most diverse city in the nation, Houston treasures its international connections and the knowledge and expertise they bring into our community.” He highlights the alignment between Nigeria’s energy prowess and Houston’s status as the energy capital of the world, a synergy that has drawn major corporations like Chevron and Halliburton to the city.

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