Ms Yan Yuging, Consul-General, People’s Republic of China in Nigeria, says China’s and Nigeria’s relations are steadily advancing in mutual development and practical cooperation.
Yan said this on Tuesday in Lagos at the China-Africa (Nigeria) production capacity cooperation symposium held at the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) complex.
The symposium had: “Enhancing economic growth through sustainable partnership” as its theme.
Yan noted that with unprecedented changes taking place in today’s world, both countries continued to advance relations by deepening cooperation in trade, investment, and contracted projects.
“China is a significant trade partner for Nigeria.
“According to Chinese customs data, bilateral trade volume between China and Nigeria reached 23.9 billion dollars in 2022.
“China’s exports to Nigeria amounted to 22.3 billion dollars, while imports from Nigeria totalled 1.6 billion dollars,” she said.
Yan noted that Nigeria had, therefore, become China’s second largest trade partner in Africa, and China is Nigeria’s largest global source of import.
“As long as we know each other, even if separated by thousands of miles, we can cooperate like neighbours.
“China and Nigeria enjoy a solid foundation of cooperation in many fields.
“With the growing political, economic, and cultural ties between the two countries, the prospects for future cooperation will be broaden and deepen,” she said.
Yan added that China launched the “Initiative on supporting Africa’s industrialisation’’ to focus on urgently needed areas of the continent’s modernisation.
She said globally, her country signed cooperation documents with more than 150 countries and more 30 international organisations.
“A large number of infrastructure projects and projects benefiting the people will be implemented gradually,’’ she stressed.
In her contribution, Mrs Adenike Akande, Nigeria’s former Minister of Trade and Industry, noted the gap
between Nigeria and China in industrialisation and industrial capacity.
She said Nigeria had a lot to learn from China on its journey to industrialisation.
Akande urged China to support Nigeria in the latter’s quests for industrialisation by putting measures in place to aid the Nigerian government and people to improve their production capacity.
In his remarks, Mr Olusola Obadimu, Director-General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, said in an increasingly interdependent world, collaboration and partnership were essential drivers of economic growth.
Obadimu noted that partnerships were catalysts for economic growth which represented visionary approach to addressing the intertwined challenges of economic development.
According to him, sustainable partnerships can contribute to economic growth through effective collaboration between government, the private sector, and international organisations for the development of critical sectors of the economy.
He noted that China’s engagement with African countries had witnessed remarkable growth over the decades.
“This dynamic trade relationship has become a focal point in global economy characterised by mutual benefits and extensive opportunities.
“The China-Africa trade relationship is not merely about commerce; it offers numerous opportunities for both parties to forge mutually beneficial partnerships that contribute to sustainable economic growth and development.
“Sustainable partnerships hold the key to a prosperous and equitable future and would further strengthen China-Africa trade relationship,” Obadimu stressed.