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FG seeks enhanced economic ties with China

By on March 19, 2013

The Federal Government on Monday called for enhanced economic ties with the Chinese Government.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, made the call at a meeting with Mr Zhong Jianhua, Special Representative, African Affairs for China, in Abuja.

Briefing newsmen after a closed-door meeting between both parties, Ashiru said that the Chinese Government’s investment in key sectors would facilitate economic growth.

He said that both parties had also agreed to enhance relations at the international level.

“We’ve asked the Chinese to look at those key sectors in Nigeria where they can invest in; more investments coming into the power sector, agriculture, telecoms, transportation, roads, and construction, where the Chinese are very active,” he said.

“We’ve both reviewed that and I believe we are doing well but we could do much better than that and the Chinese have agreed to cooperate and they are also anxious to do more investment in Nigeria. On the international scene, we’ve agreed to work together to ensure that we can have an improved and just economic world order in place and also to work together at the level of United Nations and other multilateral organisations. We spoke about Mali; we are both satisfied with the stability that has occurred there, we also welcome Chinese support for AFISMA (African-led International Support for Mali).

Earlier, Jianhua said that China was open to suggestions from Nigeria on ways to tackle the security challenges the sub-region. “The bilateral relation between Nigeria and China is doing well but my job is to enhance an extension of this bilateral relationship,” he said.

“We noticed the conflicts in the West African sub-region, so we want to know from Nigeria, as an important country in the sub region, what we can do together to promote peace and security of the region.”

The envoy commended Nigeria for her efforts in meeting basic infrastructure and expressed readiness to collaborate with the Federal Government to build more infrastructures.

“Nigeria is the biggest populated country on this continent; we can share lots of things and we are also happy to see Nigeria invest heavily in infrastructure,” he said. “We all know infrastructure is the first step for development. China did it decades ago and we are ready to cooperate to build infrastructure of this country; China is always ready to work together with Nigerian friends.”

The trade volume between Nigeria and China has exceeded 10 billion dollars (about N1.6 trillion) in the last two years.

The Chinese Government has focused on checking and improving Chinese products in Nigeria to enhance confidence in its products by Nigerians.

[Daily Times]