President Goodluck Jonathan
Nigeria has commenced strategic moves to improve trade and investment ties with China as well as to re-appraise the level and quality of trade between both countries.
A high-level business and investment forum to leverage the strength of both countries for win-win trade and investment positions had been declared open by President Goodluck Jonathan in Beijing as part of his state visit.
The forum, which was expected to attract top Chinese and Nigerian companies and investors, was organised by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Nigeria and China had maintained a long standing trade relationship, which had resulted in significant increase in the volume of trade between both countries. In 2012, the bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and China stood at N276 billion.
Nigeria’s export to China includes liquefied gas, bituminous minerals, sesame seeds rubber, while imports from China include machinery, chemical products and unglazed ceramics, among others.
Speaking with journalists, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said Nigeria’s current position as the number one investment destination in Africa had put the country in a good position to attract more local and international investments across all sectors of the economy, especially in the areas where the country had comparative and competitive advantage.
He added: “If you look at the latest report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNTAD), which was released two weeks ago, Nigeria was ranked Africa’s number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa for the second time in two years.
"According to the UNCTAD’s report, Nigeria’s FDI inflows stood at $7.03billion, while South Africa recorded $4.572billion; Ghana, $3.295billion; Egypt, $2.798billion and Angola, $6.898 billion. This shows that despite the global decline in FDI, we have remained at the top of the ladder for two consecutive years as the preferred destination for FDI inflows into Africa."
Experts have said the Nigeria-China business forum could not have come at a better time than now as it would provide a veritable platform for the government and organised private sectors of both countries to strengthen their economic partnership, especially in the critical sectors of the economy.