Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Nigeria must not be consumer market for Chinese products —Buhari


Nigeria must not be seen as a consumer market alone, but an investment destination where goods can also be manufactured and consumed locally, President Muhammadu Buhari, has said.

He also ordered immediate establishment of technical committees to finalize discussions on infrastructure projects. The President equally decried the trade disparity between Nigeria and China which he said was only in the favour of the Asian country. Available reports showed that business and trade relations between Nigeria and China in the last 10 years had increasingly appreciated, with bilateral trade volumes rising from $2.8 billion in 2005 to $14.9 billion in 2015.

 Of this figure, Nigeria accounted for 8.3 per cent of the total trade volume between China and Africa and 42 per cent of the total trade volume between China and the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, countries in 2015. Speaking at the opening of a Nigeria-China Business/Investment Forum, yesterday, in Beijing, capital of China, President Buhari said trade and economic relations between both countries must be mutually beneficial and reciprocal. He called on the Nigerian and Chinese business communities to work harder to reduce the trade imbalance between both countries. 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.”  

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