Chinese firms present at this year’s China Homelife Fair have urged Nigerians to invest in machineries to enhance manufacturing in Nigeria.
The Project coordinator of the Fair, and CEO of ELAN Nigeria, Jude Chime, said the fair was organised to bridge the gap between Chinese manufacturers, who are seeking to expand their footprints to the country and the West African region.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the fair over the weekend, Chime said there had been more interest in Chinese firms in promoting local manufacturing and that some manufacturers are looking at backwardly integrating production of certain electronic items in the country.
He said: “We have over 200 manufacturers representing China. The purpose is not to make sales, but to meet with stakeholders in the investment sector to explore opportunities on how to create an investment hub where manufacturing activities can take place.
“One of the companies from Shenzhen that is into production of television will be offering some Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) aspect of the television to start production in Nigeria. “They will be meeting with some stakeholders to see how to exploit the project so as to bring the production cost of television in Nigeria and in the West African region.
“The essence of the exhibition is to promote investment. China and Nigeria have always had a great level of relationship in terms of trade and I believe the exhibition will aid trade growth from the present level.
“Only original Chinese manufacturers are the ones being admitted for the expo,” he added.
On his part, the Chief Operating Officer, Meorient International Exhibition Co, Binu Pillai, noted that this year’s fair attracted more exhibitors than in 2018.
On the purpose of the fair, he explained that the manufacturers were in Nigeria to deepen their investment, saying: “Last year, we had over 140 exhibitors, and this year there is about 15 per cent increase.
“Acceptance of Chinese products is increasing in Nigeria. Most of the exhibitors are here to deepen their investment in Nigeria and to see the market for themselves. There are no traders at the exhibitors. We only have manufacturers here who can negotiate the price and think of the best market penetration strategy,” he added.
Special Adviser to Enugu State Governor on Small Medium Enterprises and Investment Promotion, Mr. Anayo Agu, urged participants to take advantage of the technology that can be transferred to aid local production.
“We have told the Chinese manufacturers to start some local production as the days of importation are over, even as such practice remains unsustainable. Nigeria is a gateway to many African countries and we have to position ourselves for local production,” he added.