…As Ogun-Guangdong free trade zone marks 10th anniversary
By Gabriel Olawale
CONSUL-General, Peoples Republic of China, Mr. Chu Maoming, has called for stronger bilateral relations between the federal republic of Nigeria and the Peoples Republic of China saying that such collaboration will see to the realization of development that both countries seek.
Speaking during the 10th anniversary of Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone, Maoming noted that under the guidance of President Buhari and President XI Jinping, the relationship between Nigeria and China has reached new heights, bringing benefits to the people of both countries.
“We look forward to forging a stronger strategic partnership with Nigeria through implementing outcomes of the forum of Africa and China cooperation, the Beijing Summit. The prompt joint adoption of the initiatives will surely inject another impetus into the beneficial cooperation between China and Nigeria.”
He explained that the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone was a reflection of the beneficial partnership between the two countries. “It has recorded remarkable achievements since coming on stream 10 years ago. It did not only help to develop local industries but also provide jobs opportunities.
In his welcome address, Group President of Guangdong New South Group, Professor Zhu Layi, said the free trade zone had been able to build a dream of improved industrial capacities for the people of the state and Nigeria as a whole.
Layi who was represented by his Vice, Mr. Deng Yu, said that in the past 10 years, they have been able to build a dream of boosting Nigeria’s industrial capacities and dream to provide greater wealth and value.
The Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, said the Federal Government was irrevocably committed to the repositioning of the economy by boosting productive capacities.
He said: “The government is particularly committed to boosting the non-oil sector to grow the economy and create jobs for Nigerians. Free Trade Zones is a veritable platform to attract investments and grow economies all over the world.
“We will continue to support this initiative and other productive entities for the benefit of the people and the country. Speaking, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State said the state government was committed to supporting businesses in the state.
He said: “We are not aware of the resultant effect of the FTZ in terms of employment generation, poverty alleviation, local patronage and product renting which in the long run would put our dear state on the global map of trade and investment.
“It is worth mentioning that the possibilities have grown beyond the FTZ, it has become a comprehensive development that covers processing of goods and manufacture of a variety of products with the use of local inputs that have boosted the economy of our state.” Corroborating his views, Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yusuf Buba said the success of the FTZ was a testimony to the strong economic relations between Nigeria and China.
Buba said: “Now, about 60 companies have signed up to be part of the grand vision to bring home to us what our people travel to China to manufacture or buy.”