Mr Rong Yansong, the Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, says the trade volume between both countries has increased from $3billion in 2006 to $7.24billion in 2008.
The counselor said this in Abuja on Monday while briefing 30 civil servants billed to attend a two-week training conference in China. Rong said the trade volume, however, dropped to $6.35billion in 2009 because of the global economic meltdown.
â€œ With the trade volume of $3 billion in 2006, $4 billion in 2007, $7.3 billion in 2008 which dropped to $6.35 billion in 2009, the trade between Nigeria and China still keeps a stable growth,â€ Rong said. He said Chinaâ€™s investment in Nigeria at the end of 2009 was $7.24 billion in sectors such as free trade zone, energy, agriculture, manufacture, mining and infrastructure.
Rong said in appreciation of the increasing trade volume with Nigeria, the Chinese government was constructing four rural primary schools and a hospital in Nigeria.
â€œ We are donating four rural primary schools in Katsina, Kaduna, Ogun states and the FCT. We are also constructing and equipping a modern hospital for the benefit of all Nigerians in Abuja,â€ he said.
Rong said the training programme was organised by the Chinese government for Nigerians to acquire some useful technologies and experience from China in the area of free trade zone management. We want you to use what you learn from China and help in the development of local industries and businesses in Nigeria after your return,â€ he added.
Also speaking, Mr Greg Onu, the China Desk Officer in the National Planning Commission (NPC), said the training was the fourth to be organised by the Chinese government since 2009. Onu said that three more important training programmes would be sponsored by China before the end of the year.
â€œThese training programmes are critical to the actualisation of the 7-Point Agenda and Nigeriaâ€™s Vision 20:2020 and the overall development of the country,â€ he said. He said the training tagged, â€œThe management of Free Trade Zones in China,â€ was selected because China had managed its free trade zones efficiently and effectively. Onu said the programmes were in the area of renewable energy, bilateral trade promotion, infrastructure development, anti-poverty policies and development of SMEs.
Responding on behalf of the contingent, Alhaji Hamza Tahir, the team leader and NPCâ€™s Director of Legal Services, commended the Chinese government for its capacity building initiatives. Tahir pledged that members of the group would be law abiding during their stay in China.