Africa's largest market pushes for more Chinese investment
We will support businesses and investors that are ready to establish manufacturing and processing facilities in Nigeria - Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari, who visited China for a week-long state visit, has attended the official opening ceremony of Business Forum on production capacity cooperation of two countries in Beijing on April 12.
President Buhari called on the Nigerian and Chinese business communities to work harder to cut the trade imbalance between both countries which is currently in China's favour. He said; "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 per cent of the total bilateral trade volumes.
This gap needs to be reduced. "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.
Buhari further added that his government was committed to supporting investors that were ready to establish manufacturing and processing facilities in Nigeria. "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, the president stated.
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,"Buhari told the Chinese investors. The president is accompanied by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enemalah, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama
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