The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhao Yong has rated highly the bilateral trade volume between China and Nigeria which reached $19.27 billion in 2019 and increased by 0.7 percent from January to October 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yong said the enviable trade growth which is 1900 times that of 1971 when the diplomatic relations was established, has put Nigeria in a good stead as the first among China’s top 40 trading partners in the world.
“Over the past 50 years, the mutually beneficial China-Nigeria economic and trade relations have enjoyed a robust development, the scales and areas of cooperation continuously expand, and the modes of cooperation have been diversified.
“In 2019, the trade volume between China and Nigeria reached $19.27 billion, which was 1900 times that of 1971 when the diplomatic relationship was established.
“And the bilateral trade growth rate is ranking first among China’s top 40 trading partners in the world. Despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19, the bilateral trade volume from January to October of 2020 increased by 0.7per cent year on year, which was 14 per cent higher than the trade growth rate between China and Africa as a whole.
“Nigeria surpassed Angola and South Africa to become China’s second largest trading partner and largest export market in Africa. At the same time, Nigeria is China’s major investment destination in Africa,” Yong said.
Also throwing more light on the ever improving trade relations, Charles Onunaiju, Director, Centre for China Studies (CCS) held out hope that Nigeria is on the path of greatness so long as it makes the most of her relations with China.
“ A market volume of about $22 trillion is no joke and should not escape the attention of policy makers. If Nigeria addresses her infrastructure challenge, especially power and transport networks, which can be achieved through robust engagement with the belt and road mechanism, seize the opportunities of her potential as the next industrial frontier through mainstreaming with China the industrial and production capacity co-operation, then she is well and on the way to exploring the huge Chinese market, not with primary products or commodities but by solid medium industrial products to be modest.”