The Chinese government said its delegation headed by its ambassador to Nigeria has met with President-elect Bola Tinubu to discuss diplomatic and trade relations.
China said it had identified people-to-people cooperation, which leads to cultural exchanges, as one of the main focus areas in its relationship with Nigeria and other countries.
Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, said this at a one-day seminar held at the University of Abuja on Tuesday day.
He added that he was ready to work with the new administration to be sworn in on May 29.
“I have talked with the president-elect and the vice-president-elect, and I believe we shared a lot of ideas, and I have also shared my ideas and practices with the current President Buhari, and China believes that the current president has set a very solid foundation for the next government,” Mr Cui said. “In spite of the challenges Nigeria faced, the country has smart, hardworking and talented people.”
The seminar had as its theme ‘Chinese Harmony and China-Nigeria Symphony’.
Mr Cui said policy coordination, financial integration, facilities connectivity, and trade and investment were the other cooperation priorities of its government.
The ambassador explained that policy coordination included planning and supporting large-scale infrastructural development projects, and financial integration included enhancing monetary coordination and bilateral financial cooperation.
He also described trade and investment as facilitating cross-border investments and supply chain cooperation, and the facilities connectivity included building facilities to enable connectivity along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The BRI, also called the New Silk Road, is a China-led infrastructure project that aims to stretch globally.
The initiative was launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping and had a collection of development and investment initiatives originally devised to link East Asia and Europe through physical infrastructure.
The project has, however, expanded to Africa, Oceania, and Latin America.
Moreover, Mr Cui said the trade value between China and the BRI countries was ¥13.8, approximately N923 trillion or $2 trillion, which Nigeria is part of.
“The BRI is an initiative proposed by the Chinese government aimed at promoting Nigeria-China, Africa-China relations. It is good to try to increase trade among the big countries, not only the individual countries. Nigeria and China have huge potentials, which both countries can work together to harness,” explained the Chinese ambassador.
Mr Cui added, “The most important thing is how we can increase our productivity in Nigeria, and I am working hard on trying to build industries, trying to get Chinese investment. I do believe in the future that we can have products exported to Chinese markets.”
The envoy, who said BRI had achieved its objectives, urged both countries to explore the extensive consultations, enjoy the contributions, and share the benefits. (NAN)