‘Why Nigeria is increasing investment ties with China’- President Jonathan


President Goodluck Jonathan has said that Nigeria is currently strengthening its investment and economic ties with China because of the exponential increase in the bilateral trade volume between the two countries within the last few years.

He also said the bond between the pair was infirmed by China’s involvement in the financing and construction of key infrastructural projects in Nigeria.

Jonathan spoke at the closing ceremony of the Nigeria-China Business Forum, organised by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, in Beijing on Wednesday.

The event, which had over 300 Chinese investors, culminated in the signing of no fewer than seven Memoranda of Understanding between Chinese investors, the Bauchi State Government and private investors.

Jonathan said: “I want to specially commend the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for the spectacular work done in putting together such a wonderful and world class event. I also want to thank investors for their interest in Nigeria, which is now the number one investment destination in Africa.

“The various MoUs signed between Chinese and Nigerian companies will lead to stronger economic ties between the two countries. Nigeria and China are the two largest economies in their respective regions. Since Nigeria and China started diplomatic relations, the bilateral relations between the two countries have continued to wax stronger as the years progressed.”

He added, “Nigeria and China have had strong economic ties in trade and investment over the past years. At present, China and Nigeria has annual bilateral trade exceeding $13billion. In 2002, the value of trade between Nigeria and China was just $2billion.

He said the trade between Nigeria and China accounts for nearly one third of the trade between China and West Africa, and this would continue to grow bigger, indicating the importance of Nigeria to China in the regional market.

In recognition of the strategic trade link between the two countries, the Central Bank of Nigeria recently converted some portions of Nigeria’s foreign reserve from the United States Dollars, to the Chinese Yuan. Beyond trade, China has been instrumental to supporting Nigeria with financial arrangement and investment in strategic infrastructural projects like rail, road and free trade zones, among others.”

Jonathan stressed that the country’s current robust, stable macro-economic environment had strategically positioned it as the preferred investment destination in Africa and globally.

He said: “Nigeria is currently the preferred destination for Chinese companies in Africa. Presently, more than 200 Chinese companies are currently operating in Nigeria and they are doing very well. Nigeria is open for business as we currently have some of the best incentives in the world for investors to take advantage of. Our tax policies are quite robust and the business environment we have in Nigeria is exceptional.”

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said, “One of the major achievements of this forum is the big large commitment by Chinese investors in terms of investing in key sectors of the Nigerian economy. For example, the largest coal to power company in China is interested in coming to invest in Nigeria.


“Also, many big companies who are into power generation and transmission have indicated their interest in investing in Nigeria. In addition to this, we have held discussions with China Development Bank in the area of Small and Medium development. In fact, the momentum is very high in terms of investors’ interest in Nigeria.”


The Nation
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