…as Chinese trade with Africa hits $208.7b, FDI reaches $49.1b
By Soni Daniel & Victorial Ojeme
Despite its fragile economy in recent years, Nigeria remains Chinese major investment destination in Africa, the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria said on Monday.
Addressing a media event in Abuja to mark 50 years of Nigeria-China relations, the Chinese Charged de Affaires in Nigeria, Mr. Zhao Yong, disclosed also that China’s trade with Africa has hit $208.7 billion with foreign direct investment totalling $49.1 billion.
According to Yong, the trade volume between China and Nigeria reached $19.27 billion in 2019, which was 1900 times that of 1971 when the diplomatic relationship was established.
Yong boasted: “Despite the adverse effects of the Covid-19, the bilateral trade volume from January to October of 2020 increased by 0.7% year on year, which was 14% higher than the trade growth rate between China and Africa as a whole.
“Nigeria surpassed Angola and South Africa respectively to become China’s second largest trading partners and largest export market in Africa. At the same time, Nigeria is China’s major investment destination in Africa.
The local Chinese are rushing to help their Nigerian brothers and sisters; the total value of materials and funds donated by the local Chinese companies and nationals amounted to N3 billion.
“At the same time, Nigeria is China’s major investment destination in Africa. The Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and Lekki Free Zone have attracted a large number of Chinese companies to invest and operate their businesses. The infrastructure projects built jointly by the two countries, such as roads, ports and airport terminals, can be seen everywhere in Nigeria.
“China is ready to make joint efforts with Nigeria to further strengthen the anti-pandemic cooperation until the pandemic is completely defeated; deepen the Belt and Road cooperation; speed up the construction of key projects so as to help Nigeria accelerate the process of industrialization; explore the cooperation in the areas of digital economy and green economy; expand military and security cooperation with a view to enhance Nigeria’s capacity of safeguarding national security; and closely coordinate with each other on regional and international affairs to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.
“China is ready to work with Nigeria to uphold multilateralism and oppose unilateral actions; to uphold free trade and oppose protectionism; to uphold fairness and justice, oppose hegemonic bullying; and to safeguard the common rights and interest of developing countries.
“China will continue to work with Africa to fully deliver on the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19, with greater focus on public health, economic reopening and improvement of livelihoods.
“I would like to reaffirm China’s firm commitment to making its vaccines a global public good. When the development of the vaccines is completed and they are available for use, China will actively consider providing them to African countries in need to help secure an early victory against the virus.
“China is ready to work with Nigeria to uphold multilateralism and oppose unilateral actions; to uphold free trade and oppose protectionism; to uphold fairness and justice, oppose hegemonic bullying; and to safeguard the common rights and interest of developing countries. In the second half of this year, a new session of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held.
“China will join hands with Nigeria and other African countries to make it a success, so as to build a closer community with a shared future for China and Africa,” Yong pledged.