By Donald Iorchir
The President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode has described the economic and diplomatic ties with China and Nigeria as one that has impacted positively on both nations emphasizing that it must be maintained.
The ACCI president who spoke during the week at the Annual Reception held by the Chinese Economic and Commercial Counselor, Zhao Linxiang at the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Abuja, noted the several milestones recorded in Nigeria the immediate past in the rail, airport and roads infrastructure development have been made possible with the support of China.
“It is against this backdrop that, China-Nigeria bilateral trade cooperation hit record $2.7billion dollars as at 2017 which makes Nigeria the third largest economic partner of China in Africa.
“However the next stage of economic engagement between Nigeria and China must be about practical industrial development. We are ready to partner with China to establish Industrial Parks for various industrial sectors all over Nigeria”, he added.
He further stated that, the China principle of matching one province with one state in Nigeria is a good attempt at industrial development that will open and create more opportunities for Nigerians and impact positively on the industrial development of the country. This, he said is in the spirit of the Belt and Road Policy of the Chinese government which if implemented properly will further enhance close cooperation and indeed Chinese influence in Nigeria.
While advocating for a win-win cooperation, he enjoined the Nigerian business community to work closely with China in areas of mining, agriculture, power, automobile, general manufacturing, telecommunication, science and technology which he said are driven by genuine technical touch.
The President of the Abuja chamber promised to use his 3-year tenure to open up more vistas in a manner that will further catapult trade relations of both countries to greater heights.
Earlier in his speech, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy, Mr. Zhao Linxiang noted with satisfaction the cordial relationship between the countries pointing out that the more visible aspect of Nigeria’s relations with China is in the areas of construction-roads, airports and the railway financed through accepted liberal terms.
The Counsellor further said, to push forward the desire to overcome immense infrastructural challenge, his country is spearheading efforts to support Nigeria through a funding arrangement that eases the pressure on the country’s financial situation.
The event had in attendance Presidents of chambers of commerce from all over the country.