September 26, 2017

‘What Nigeria will gain from Jonathan’s visit to China’

‘What Nigeria will gain from Jonathan’s visit to China’.. NAIJA INVEST

As President Goodluck Jonathan leads a high powered Nigerian multi-sectoral delegation to China, with a desire to build on the strategic relations started eight years ago, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Deng Boqing speaks with Foreign Affairs Editor, OGHOGHO OBAYUWANA, on Nigeria’s business with China today. 

WHAT is the current state of the Sino-Nigeria bilateral relations? 

China-Nigeria diplomatic relations enters the 43rd year in 2013. Ever since the beginning, we on both sides have been endeavouring to promote our communication and cooperation. In 2005, our close ties were upgraded to a strategic partnership. Ever since then, our relations have witnessed rapid development. High-level exchanges remain active and our political mutual trust enhanced. Also, the economic ties have been strengthened, bringing mutual benefits to people of our two countries. People-to-people communications and cultural exchanges between our two sides have been fully dynamic, ensuring vigorous interaction and enhancing mutual understanding between our two peoples.

This visit by President Jonathan to your country, what are the expectations of the two countries? What are the likely milestones that could be described as achievements when a review is done?  

Well, at the invitation of the Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Jonathan is paying the visit from July 9 to 12. It has been five years since the Nigerian President visited China. During this current visit, it will be the first time for our top leaders to meet after the new Chinese President assumed office. During his stay in China, President Jonathan is to meet his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, and other Chinese leaders. The two parties will exchange views on bilateral relations as well as on international and regional issues of common concerns, consider new channels and approaches to boost China-Nigeria cooperation in political, economic, cultural and other fields, and sign a few documents of cooperation.

Now, I strongly believe President Jonathan’s visit to China will further consolidate the traditional friendship between China and Nigeria, enhance strategic mutual trust, expand pragmatic bilateral cooperation as well as promote the further development of China-ECOWAS and China-Africa relations. There are agreements lined up to be signed for infrastructural development, power and much else. They are for the overall benefit of the two countries as we will be able to see later.

‘What Nigeria will gain from Jonathan’s visit to China’.. NAIJA INVEST

‘What Nigeria will gain from Jonathan’s visit to China’.. NAIJA INVEST

Where are the strengths of the bilateral relations between Nigeria and China, what are the identified areas of cooperation? 

Over the past 42 years, China and Nigeria have been making great achievements. Our two countries have been forging ever-closer economic ties. Nigeria is now the third largest trade partner of China in Africa. In 2012, the trade volume between the two countries reached USD 10.57 billion, and by the end of last year, China’s non-financial direct investment in Nigeria accumulated to USD 8.7 billion.

In the financial sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria is the very first one in Africa to include Chinese currency RMB in its foreign exchange reserves, with a view to building strategic and mutually beneficial relationship with key Chinese financial institutions.

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IMAGE: www.washingtonpost.com

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