China tasks Nigeria on trade imbalance, raises stake in Africa to $300billion
As LCCI, CABC seal pact to strengthen bilateral ties
The Chairman, China Africa Business Council (CABC), Chief Dana Chen, has announced that the Chinese government is planning to invest over $300 billion in the African continent over the next three years.
According to her, the move is expected to increase the volume of trade between Africa and China from the current $30 billion.
Chen stated this at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between LCCI and CABC in Lagos.
“We are targeting the next three years to increase the trade volume between China and Africa from over $30 billion to $300 billion. This is over 10 times the size of the current trade between China and Africa. The trade increase is expected to benefit more African businesses.
“Nigeria imports too much and needs to also export to achieve a balance of trade level. This would also make the Nigerian currency to be strong. There are lots of areas we can explore and strengthen our trade relationships.
“We can invest more in logistics, supply chain and product manufacturing in Nigeria. We are also increasing investments in promoting the culture in Nigeria, because Nigeria’s creative industry is one of the biggest industries in the world where they can be developed to export to Asian countries and it offers huge potentials for Nigeria”, she added.
She also unveiled plans to establish 10 medical and 10 housing projects for African countries, 10 poverty reduction, 10 agricultural projects, while also reaffirming China’s commitment to help Nigeria address its security concerns by providing military support programmes.
Earlier, the president, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, explained that the MoU would further improve bilateral and diplomatic relations between the two countries, stressing that the partnership is historic and significant to the LCCI as it would also strengthen its international trade relations with China.
He pointed out that China-Nigeria relations, which dates to the early 1970s, has progressed significantly in recent years, saying that Nigeria is one of China’s largest trading partners in Africa.
Over the years, China has been a strategic import hub for Nigerian manufacturers and trade activities between both nations, which he said, has seen dramatic improvement.
In his words: “According to the National Bureau of Statistic, the trade volume between both countries grew remarkably to $16 billion in 2019 from $7.4 billion in 2018. Bilateral relations between both nations have also expanded tremendously on growing bilateral trade and strategic cooperation till date.”
He added that the Chinese have shown interest in the Nigerian market, with presence across various sectors of the economy including financial technology, construction, retail and e-commerce and manufacturing.
“As of May 2019, Chinese investment in Nigeria was above $20 billion given Nigeria’s status as a competitive destination for the establishment of small and medium-sized firms. According to the China Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria, about 200, 000 Nigerians are employed by over 150 Chinese companies based in Nigeria. Even till date, China remains a major financier of several developmental projects in Nigeria,” he said.