By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA- Bilateral relations between China and Nigeria have reached a new height following yesterday’s meeting of the representatives of the two countries.
Both countries have being cooperating in multiple areas since they established diplomatic ties more than four decades ago.
This commitment was strengthened at yesterday’s Nigeria-China Belt and Road Investment Forum held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.
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The event was organised by the Consulate General of Nigeria in Shanghai, in collaboration with Shanghai Golden Consulting Company Limited.
The event, among others, according to the Consul General of Nigeria in Shanghai, Hon. Anderson Madubike, was spurred by the Consulate’s commitment towards sustaining the bilateral trade and investment relations between China and Nigeria for the mutual benefit of both countries.
Madubike, the 4th Consul General of Nigeria in Shanghai, said the forum held in line with the aspect of the mandate of the Consulate which was to ensure that it sustained, build and promote relationship between China and Nigeria.
Madubike added that in adhering to the mandate, part of it was to reach out in line with the diversification policy of the nation’s economy by the Federal Government.
“These are ways of attracting investors to our country. So, last year, I recall, we did one in Shanghai and this year, we did this in Hangzhou.
“Hangzhou is an industrial hub of China. This city contributes 30 percent of GDP of China. We are doing this in an effort to make sure that lots of Chinese continue to know about investment opportunities in Nigeria.
“It provided a coordinate platform to enlightening Chinese business moguls and entrepreneurs on the numerous investment opportunities and incentives in Nigeria, as well as promote the Federal Government of Nigeria’s policy initiative of economic diversification, and network opportunities for attracting Foreign Direct Investment into the country,” Madubike said.
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The event, attracted several stakeholders from China and Nigeria, particularly the Nigerian Ambassador to China, Baba Ahmad Jidda.
The Consul Generals of Nigeria in Guangzhou and Hong Kong and high level delegations from the Bank of Industry, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Sokoto State Investment Company, China-Africa Business Council, Bank of Agriculture, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, amongst others, were present during the two-day event.
Addressing the forum, Jidda recalled the cordial bilateral relationship between China and Nigeria, which he said, continued to blossom for the past 48 years since the establishment of bilateral relations between both countries.
“The Ambassador highlighted Nigeria Government’s commitment and collaboration platforms provided by the Chinese government, emphasising that Hangzhou city is an industrial hub in China with a 30 percent GDP contribution and an ideal location for attracting investments into Nigeria.
“He further noted that since the establishment of diplomatic ties between Nigeria and China in February 1971, both countries have signed several bilateral trade and strategic cooperation agreements aimed at boosting economic relationships between the two countries.
“He recalled the $60 billion support extended by President Xi Jinping to African countries during the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2018, as well as the currency swap agreement recently signed between the two countries, which he noted, were of immense benefits for the two countries.
“He equally noted the 1st China-Africa Trade Expo that was recently held in Changsha and the increasing bilateral trade volumes as evidence of practical cooperation between China and Nigeria,” the Consulate said.
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Jidda, according to the Consulate General of Nigeria in Shanghai, further informed the forum on the huge investment opportunities in Nigeria based on the Federal Government’s diversification programme and China’s win-win strategy in areas such as industrial promotion, trade facilitation, agriculture modernization, healthcare, culture and people-to-people exchanges, peace and security, international connectivity, Green development, capacity building, amongst others.
“While driving home his views on the importance of policies to stimulating economic development, the Ambassador stated that economic relations is tied to policy and that Nigeria respects and acknowledges the One China policy, non-interference policy and diplomacy as the bedrock of continued business collaboration between the two friendly countries,” the Consulate added.