By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Trade between China and Nigeria reached $9.5 billion in 2016, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, Mr Zhao Linxiang, has disclosed.
Mr Linxiang gave the figure at a dinner to host participants of different training courses in China on last Friday in Abuja.
He said Nigeria remained China’s fourth largest trading partner in Africa despite challenges in bilateral relations between both countries.
“In the first 11 months of last year (2016), our bilateral trade reached $9.5 billion. It is a great achievement under the current condition the Nigerian economy is.
So far, China’s total investment in Nigeria reached $2.2 billion and Nigeria is China’s important destination in Africa. Our investment cooperation is expanding.” He said.
The counsellor noted that a large number of Chinese investors and entrepreneurs are involved in diverse areas of economic development in Nigeria.
Mr Linxiang reiterated China’s commitment to work with Nigeria to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation and promote Nigeria’s industrialization and agricultural modernization.
He said implementation of the 10 major China-Africa cooperation projects initiated in 2016 is in progress noting that both countries can better enhance cooperation in the area of capacity building.
”We will provide more training and scholarship for Nigerians under the framework of `1000 People Plan’,” he said.
The envoy said the Chinese government offered training opportunities to 3,200 Nigerians in the last decade.
He stated that in 2016, 40 Nigerian officials and technicians were trained in the China-Nigeria Agricultural Technical Training programme held in Abuja while 260 officials participated in different training opportunities in China.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, underscored the importance of the relationship between both countries.
“China has been in several developmental places in Nigeria.
“We will be reaching out to you to make sure that some of the projects that we have started discussing are crystallizing within the shortest possible time,” she said.
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