Mrs Guo Cui Duo, Vice President of Hebei Federation of Industry and Commerce, China, has promised to partner Nigeria through investment in infrastructure to deepen relations between both countries.
Duo said this in an interview with newsmen at the business and investment forum for investors from Hebei Province of China on Monday in Abuja.
The event titled “Attracting Investors for Nigeria’s Development” was organised by Zvecan Consulting Engineering Ltd in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and China Foreign Trade Park Ltd.
Duo commended mutual relations between Nigeria and China while describing Nigeria as a `strategic partner’ to the Chinese province in terms of trade and investments.
According to her, it is key for both China and Nigeria to keep contact and to further strengthen trade cooperation between them.
Duo said, “In recent years the relationship between President Xi Jinping and President Muhammadu Buhari, have continued to foster growth in bilateral relations between China and Nigeria.
“China and Nigeria are the most populous and largest economies in Asia and Africa respectively and both countries have respect for development.
“Both countries have significant number of agreement on trade, economic and technological cooperation and have established joint status for trading and cultural exchanges.
“The main purpose of our visit is to further develop bilateral policies on the Belt and Road, to explore new platforms for cooperation and shared future between China and Africa.”
In separate interviews, Amb Maryam Katagum, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, underscored the need for partnership between Nigeria and Chinese investors, to boost the economic development.
The minister, represented at the event by Mrs Olukemi Arodudu, Director, Trade and Investment Promotion Department, said that the forum was to deepen bilateral relations between Nigeria and China.Katagum said, “The purpose of the forum is to provide a platform for visitors from Hebei Province in China to meet Nigerian governments and business community with a view to forming alliances.
“It is pertinent Nigeria is one of the largest trading partners with China in Africa and we are seeking deeper cooperation on investments in critical infrastructure to sustain economic growth.
“I therefore, note that we have in our midst today, investors who have signified interest to invest in non-oil sectors like automobiles, real estate, solar-power, mineral resource development and agriculture.
“This signifies the fact that China is also ready to partner with Nigeria in our aspiration for inclusive economic growth and development.
“The gaps in the Nigerian infrastructural sectors are huge investment opportunities for the discerning investor and we are inviting our Chinese friends to consider investment in infrastructure.”
In another interview, Mr Nicholas Ogbedo, Managing Director of Zvecan Ltd said that the programme sought to encourage governments and private sectors partnership to promote nation building.
According to him, the investors’ forum is a Public Private Partnership initiative designed to alleviate poverty, diversify economy, create jobs and tackle economic challenges facing Nigerian.
Ogbedo said, “We have realized the challenges facing Africa and Nigeria in particular; when we visited China, they agreed on how they can cooperate with us.
“To solve economic problems and as well create means of economic diversification, we have 27 companies from China who are going to engage in different sectors.
“Their investment packages are in line with the Economic Recovery Plan of the Federal Government.”
Newsmen report high point of the event was power point presentation on investment potentials in Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Edo states and signing of MoU between Hebei investors and the state governments.