China and Nigeria have recorded a total bilateral trade volume of 101 billion dollars from 2004 to 2015.
Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Zhao Linxiang, said this at the 2016 China-Nigeria Trade and Economic Forum in Abuja on Thursday.
Linxiang said that both countries had experienced steady increase in their bilateral relations.
“According to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs of China, total bilateral trade volume between China and Nigeria, from the year 2004 to 2015, recorded at 101 billion dollars.
“The major commodities imported by Nigeria from China are electrical machinery equipment, machinery and mechanical appliances and vehicles.
“The major commodities exported by Nigeria to China are mineral resources, wood and agricultural products such as cotton, palm oil seeds cashew nuts and so on.
The counsellor said that the bilateral trade volume between both countries stood at 14.94 billion dollars in 2015.
He added that the 2015 trade volume made up 8.3 per cent of China’s total trade with Africa and 42 per cent of its trade with ECOWAS.
Linxiang commended the cooperation efforts made by both countries in the area of infrastructure construction.
“A large number of projects have been completed or are being implemented in Nigeria with Chinese funds, advanced technologies and services.
“Those projects create more than 20,000 jobs for local people,” he said.
He further reiterated that Nigeria was “one of the most important destinations of Chinese investment in Africa”.
He also said that the 10 major China-Africa cooperation plans agreed on at the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit would be of benefit to Nigeria’s economic diversification plan.
The counsellor called on the need for both countries to explore new areas of cooperation and expand relations in existing areas.
“It is believed that President Buhari’s visit to China will breathe new life into the bilateral economic cooperation.
“It is also believed that during his stay in China, the two leaders will further discuss on how to fully implement the fruits of the 2015 FOCAC Summit.
“This includes the 10 major cooperation plans and relevant financing arrangements and how to carry them out into projects which are conducive to the Nigerian economic development.
Also speaking, the President, Miners’ Association of Nigeria, Sani Shehu said there was a need for Nigeria to gain from the “Chinese model of growth, investment and manufacturing expertise”.
Mr. Shehu noted that the trade imbalance between both countries remained in favour of China and urged that Chinese entrepreneurs be encouraged to set up production facilities in Nigeria.
He explained that setting up production facilities would ensure value addition, creation of jobs and enhanced development in the country.
“Nigerian Government should learn from the Chinese in terms of building human and physical infrastructure as well as granting manufacturers and miners access to cheap credit.
“We need to liaise with foreign investors; Nigeria is eager to diversify its trade relations by reducing its dependence on western industrial countries.
“China is therefore one of the few countries that can assist Nigeria to bridge her huge financing gap especially for infrastructural development,” he said.