From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Cui Jianchun, has disclosed that the trade volume between China and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partners is currently $9.35 trillion.
Cui made the disclosure during the Seminar on BRI Symphony played by China-Nigeria Orchestra at the Chinese Cultural Center, Abuja.
The Chinese envoy also disclosed that trade between China and African countries was pegged at $1.35 trillion in the year 2020.
Cui, while speaking on the importance of China’s BRI Initiative with Nigeria and other countries, said the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria is also developing strategies to promote the BRI initiative between Nigeria and China.
Cui said: “The main essence of the BRI is about viable connectivity. First is about the policy coordination, second is about the facility connectivity. The third is about unimpeded trade, the fourth is about financial integration, and the last is about people to people bond. And I hope that everybody here today, you could remember the five connectivity.
“There have been great achievements of BRI in the past eight years. Now, we have 140 countries that have signed this document with the Chinese Government. Nigeria is also part of the country. I also took part in the drafting of this document and I am very happy that Nigeria has signed this document in the year 2018.
“We have 140 countries plus 30 international organisations that have signed this document. In the African continent, we have 46 countries, including the African Union that has signed this document.
“Since 2013, we have recorded 130 billion dollars investment. The third figure is about the trade. We have accomplished 9.2 trillion dollars in trade all over the world with the international partners.”
The Chinese envoy so noted that young Nigerians were very keen about e-commerce, disclosing that China had 22 countries that have e-commerce with China, which he believed, can be done with Nigeria.
“Also last year, 2020, the trade with BRI partners is about 1.35 trillion US dollars. This also includes for COVID response, Economic Stability and the People’s livelihood.
“So, trade is really important for BRI partners. We need Chinese products; we also need products from the BRI partners, ” Cui also said.
Cui further disclosed that since arrival in Nigeria, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria has developed a strategy termed the “5GIST” as a way to promote future cooperation within the framework of the BRI between China and Nigeria.
“In this strategy, the 5GIST means 5 Goals, 5Is, 5Ss and 5Ts which is the China-Nigeria GDP Strategy. The GDP means Growth, Development and Progress.
“The first five Goals are: Political Support, Economic Cooperation, Military Collaboration, International Coordination and People to People Bond.
“The second Five Is are: First is about Infrastructure, second is ICT, third is about Industry; railway is key for the Nigerian people. Without industry we cannot get rich, we cannot get strong, we cannot create more jobs, we cannot create income. So, we believe that Industry in the Agriculture, manufacturing, how they can be implemented.
“The fourth is about Investment in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas. So, I think we really need investments and how to attract Foreign Direct Investments.
“The third S are on Security. We need structure, we need speed because we cannot be lagging behind in the 21st century. We need synergy and supervision.
“The Fourth T are Thoughts. We need to exchange our thoughts on the government and peoples’ level, we have Talents, Treasure, Technology and Tradition,” the Chinese envoy further said.
In his remarks, the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said a team was ready to leave Nigeria for China to understudy small industries, small project sites in different provinces of China.
Runsewe also disclosed that over 15 state governors had already keyed into the project and were ready to embark on the tour of China.
“This is one of the most blessed country in the world. Every state in Nigeria has a brand, has a product that we can give back to the world,” Runsewe said.