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Trade Volumes Between Nigeria And China Should Be Balanced – Buhari Insists

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, April 12, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a balanced, mutually beneficial trade and economic relations between Nigeria and China, conducted with reciprocated respect and trust.

Buhari made the call on Tuesday, in Beijing, as he urged the Nigerian and Chinese business communities to work harder to reduce the trade imbalance between both countries, which is currently in China’s favour.

A statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said while speaking at the opening of a Nigeria-China Business/Investment Forum, Buhari noticed that the trade volume was lopsided.

Trade relations between Nigeria and China has grown in the last decade with bilateral trade volumes rising from $2.8 billion in 2005 to $14.9 billion in 2015 as Nigeria accounts for 8.3 percent of the total trade volume between China and Africa, and 42 percent of the total trade volume between China and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries in 2015.

“Although the Nigerian and Chinese business communities have recorded tremendous successes in bilateral trade, there is a large trade imbalance in favour of China as Chinese exports represent some 80 percent of the total bilateral trade volumes. This gap needs to be reduced,” Buhari said.

“Therefore, I would like to challenge the business communities in both countries to work together to reduce the trade imbalance. You must also imbibe the spirit of having a mutually beneficial relationship in your business transactions.

“You must not see Nigeria as a consumer market alone, but as an investment destination where goods can be manufactured and consumed locally.

“Last year during our meeting in New York, President Xi Jinping and I agreed to explore ways of practical cooperation in trade, investment, finance, human resources, agriculture and fishing.

“We also agreed to strengthen industrial capacity cooperation in the manufacture of cars, household appliances, construction materials, textiles, food processing, and others.

“This is in line with our government’s focus on import substitution through the creation of a diversified and inclusive economy that will meet most of our consumption needs.

“Already, our Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is working on projects and programmes that will correct the wrongs of the past and enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“The ministry’s efforts will be complemented by investment tax incentive programmes, public sector reform initiatives as well as our zero tolerance stance on corruption.

“We also have an aggressive but realistic infrastructure development programme that forms the backbone of our economic diversification policy. We are embarking on major power, road, rail, seaport and airport development programmes that will enhance the competitiveness of manufacturing businesses in Nigeria.

“The future is bright and I am very confident that our policies will make Nigeria the investment destination of your choice.

“We are committed to protecting all lives and property within our borders. You can therefore be rest assured that your investments in Nigeria will be safe and secure,” he said.

Story by David Oputah