Alex Enumah in Abuja
China has commended Nigeria for its effort at creating a business friendly environment for investors in the country, noting that the effort has paid off with its recent upgrade by the World Bank in its latest report.
The China Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, who made the commendation thursday in Abuja at a seminar on Nigeria-China relations and the prospects to realise industrial and production capacity cooperation, said the promotion is an attestation that Nigeriaâ€™s business environment policy is taking shape.
He commended the Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS), organisers of the seminar, for bringing relevant stakeholders together and exploiting to the fullest the already flourishing relations between the two countries.
â€œThis seminar could not come at a more opportune time. The 2017 Africa Industrialisation Day on November 20 is fast approaching. Nigeria has moved up 24 places to 145th in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business report published the day before thursday.
â€œThe World Bank also lists Nigeria as one of the top ten reforming economies in the world in 2017. And, as the significance of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its global implications are being assessed in earnest world-wide, a discussion on the impact of the congress on Chinaâ€™s commitment to the industrialisation of Africa is apt and helpful,â€ he said.
Pingjian reiterated Chinaâ€™s commitment to support Nigeriaâ€™s industrialisation and economic diversification effort of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The ambassador, while stressing that Africa would continue to remain a priority area for Chinaâ€™s international industrial cooperation, said the upcoming FOCAC meeting next year in Beijing would see China given greater attention to Africa and Nigeria.
â€œThe Chinese side is willing to comprehensively advance China-Africa Ten Major Cooperation Plans; push forward the implementation of the â€˜Belt and Roadâ€™ construction in Nigeria and Africa; support Nigeria in well implementing its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and support Africa in implementing the Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,â€ the ambassador stated.
Earlier in his welcome address, Director, Centre for China Studies, Charles Onunaiju, noted that China-Nigeria relation on industrial and production capacity cooperation offers a unique opportunity to realise Nigeriaâ€™s strategic goal of achieving economic diversification.
He said: â€œFor Nigeria and Africa to develop economically on sustainable basis, they would need the infrastructure, capital, technology and market that China offers.