Ethiopia and Angola are among African countries that have revved up their trade partnership with China, thereby displacing Nigeria to fourth position in its partnership with China.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian who made the disclosure, however noted that the relationship between the African country and Asian giants had a lot of potential, which could be tapped to the advantage of all.
Speaking during the visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Nigeria-China Relations to the CGCOC Group headquarters at the weekend in Abuja, the envoy stated that his country’s desire was for Nigeria to attract massive Foreign Direct Investment, which he said was needed for the country’s development.
It was learnt that as at January 2017, South Africa was leading the pack of the first 10 countries with high partnership with China, followed by Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Angola while Nigeria, which displaced South Africa in 2015 fell to the fourth position.
But Nigeria was said to have emerged the leading country after President Muhammdu Buhari visited China, and followed it with plans to domicile Chinese currency, Yuan, as a major foreign exchange in Nigeria.
However, Zimbabwe and Angola’s adoption of the Yuan as medium of foreign exchange, in October and November 2016, respectively, immediately saw the countries being given prominent positions in China’s economy.
But the envoy disclosed that China had so far attracted over $139tn FDI, noting that in 2016 alone, his country attracted about $139 billion.
“As Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, I wish a small part of the $139bn could come to Nigeria,” he said, stating that China’s policy was focused on the economic development of Africa.
“What is important is for us to focus on the big plans; we see great potential in investments in Nigeria, but Nigeria-China trade is declining fast.
“Nigeria used to be China’s number two trade partner in Africa, but it’s now number four.”
He also said that China was still devoted to implementing the outcomes of the China-Africa Cooperation Summit held when Buhari visited the Asian country.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Nigeria-China Relations, Buba Yakubu, said the country would henceforth work on implementing all agreements reached with China.
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