Envoy Seeks Increased Trade Between Nigeria and Chinese Businesses
The Chinese Lagos Consulate-General has called for more trade connection between Nigeria and China in order to facilitate growth and promote cooperation among both countries’ businesses.
Speaking at the 2022 Stanbic IBTC African-China Expo, the Chinese Consulate General Lagos, Mr. Guo Pengwen, said China and Nigeria as one of the important economies in Asia and Africa need to share trade cooperation to benefit the people of the two countries.
According to him, “So banks and financial institutions should play a more important role in promoting international trade. As the largest commercial bank in Africa, Standard Bank Group should continue to provide support to Africa-China trade and the China-Nigeria trade to provide solutions and platforms for importers and exporters.
“There is need to create connections between traders in China and Africa and support Chinese products. The going may be tough when one walks alone, but it get easier when people walk together; it is expected that Nigeria and Chinese enterprise would make use of the trade platforms provided by Stanbic IBTC and the Standard Bank Group, to find potential, seize opportunities, help each other and jointly trade a better and a solid business environment between China and Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, for Nigeria to leverage the potential of its non-oil sector, experts at the programme emphasised the need for the country to embark on strategic policy reforms.
This, they argued would enable the country to effectively harness the opportunities, drive development and expand its agricultural export base.
This, according to them, was because the Nigerian agricultural sector was replete with diverse opportunities and has the potential to generate $40 billion annually from export of agricultural goods, aside the possibilities of value-addition that are limitless.
Equally they noted that Nigeria-China trade continues to favour import of much diversified products as compared to a mono-export trading of petroleum products only.
In his opening address at the conference, the CEO Stanbic IBTC Bank, Wole Adeniyi, pointed out that the bank would continue to provide the needed support to promote trade relationship between local businesses in Nigeria and their counterpart in China.
“At our Africa-China Trade Support, we have recorded over 16,000 transactions and have seen over $2.5 billion deals. We offer trust and facilitate matchmaking for business-to-business,” he said.
Also with the theme, ‘Synergy for Growth,’ the need for Nigerian businesses to close the country’s trade imbalance with China was seen as a gap that must be closed by developing capacities of local manufacturing, agricultural products and value addition processes.
Explaining what needs to be done by Nigerian businesses to access international products, the
Deputy Director and Regional Coordinator, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Samuel Oyeyipo, urged them to ensure they meet all necessary certification requirements of counterpart countries.
“We have noticed that most of our exporters, MSMEs in general have very good products that could compete with any other products in the international markets, but one of the problems we have discovered is that most of them do not have the necessary certification that could attest to the quality of those products.”
The Head, Africa-China Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Ade Otukomaya, urged Nigerians exporters to embrace export particularly to Chinese people.
“I have the benefits of visiting all the Free Trade Zones(FTZs) in Nigeria, about 90 percent of the participants in those FTZs are Chinese and the reasons for creating them by our government is to promote production and packaging for the purpose of export. If we do not play there, we will see the Chinese having the biggest cultivation of cassava; as a matter of fact, we see those requests coming our way.
“So you will continue to see a lot of brands in Chinese that are Nigerian made products and that is why we say take advantage when the Chinese say Nigeria package and made goods; we welcome you to bring them to our store and shelf.”
Making his presentation, the Head, Trade, Transactional Products and Services, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Seun Ogundolapo, explained that the Asian continent has overcome Europe as Nigeria’s trading partners, with China accounting for over 40 per cent of Nigeria’s trade volumes.
“But, over the years we have seen Asian countries come up and they have become very bullish in trading with Nigeria. As we speak today, Asia has taken over from Europe; 44 per cent of our trade engagement happens with Asia and about 40 per cent of that is with China. So we can see the importance and relevance of the Chinese Community and their products with Nigeria.”
He, however, pointed out that Nigeria needs to initiate a specific and targeted policy framework, matched with the political will, “to spot areas of engagement that could maximally contribute meaningfully to the country’s priority field in economic recovery and sustainable growth.”