AFRICANGLOBE – President Goodluck Jonathan’s official 4-day visit to China has culminated in the signing of at least nine memorandum of understanding (MOUs) between Chinese investors and the Nigerian government and private sector at the Nigeria-China Investment Forum in Beijing.
According to BusinessDay Nigeria, the forum which had in attendance 4 state governors, top government officials and private sector leaders like Tony Elumelu, saw agreements signed on power, agriculture, industrial zones, automobile, science and technology.
During his speech, the Nigerian president explained Nigeria was currently strengthening 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 as well as China’s involvement in the financing and construction of key infrastructural projects in the country.
According to Jonathan, China’s rising importance in global economy and its partnership with Nigeria, has seen the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently convert significant part of its reserve from the dollar to Chinese Yuan.
“About 200 Chinese companies are doing business in Nigeria, but our country needs more direct investment. Our exchange rate has been stable over the years and foreigners have 100 per cent of their investment. We are most interested in agro and allied industry. That area is our priority. Government is willing to facilitate your business activities in Nigeria and we are willing to give you land and other things that will ease your investment in the country. We will also ensure that the Nigerian embassy here in China will give five to 10 years visa to big time investors. I assure you that your investment is safe in Nigeria,” he said.
With about 300 Chinese investors present, participating Chinese companies operating in Nigeria lauded efforts of the African government to encourage more investments.
Trade between the two countries which was below $2 billion in 2002, has exceeded $13 billion annually. About a-third of all China’s West African investments are in Nigeria, which has become China’s number one trading partner in the sub region.
By: Oyeniyi Adegoke