By Emmanuel Nduka
Nigeria’s current figure of exports to China stands at $1.77 billion, but Government of both countries are expecting a rise to $300 billion in three years to herald a significant growth for the economy.
Chairman, Choice International Group, Chief Diana Chen, stated this during a business morning show on television recently.
Chen, while speaking on the Nigeria-China currency swap agreement, said that the policy was a strategy of the Chinese government to reduce countries’ dependence on the US dollar.
“The Chinese government just announced this year’s forecast that in two to three years, imports from Africa to China will hit $300 billion and now it is about $1.77 billion and so this looks like a significant form of growth if this opportunity is taken. This currency swap is also to avoid the US dollar depreciating with the other countries’ currencies.
“If there is an engagement between the Nigerian government and business owners regarding the currency swap agreement, then there will be better understanding about how the policy works. During the pandemic, the currency swap kept Chinese company construction work on going and I remember someone asking how much investment from other countries here in Nigeria was going on? But we were able to keep the work because most of them are financed by the IFB,” Chen said.
Observing the Nigerian investment climate, Chen noted that Africa, especially Nigeria, needs more attention in regard to provision of a good enabling environment, adding that there is a need for more industrial facilities, accommodating government policies to attract more investments in the African continent.
“For example, the power sector is in need of attention because if power supply remains a challenge in production or manufacturing, then it affects industrialisation and we will not see more investments coming in that space. Infrastructures here will not only be used by foreigners because I know there are local investors too who want to bring investments into the country.
“A recent survey showed that re-investments stood at 30 per cent and we will want to see more. For example the construction sector in the economy has a lot of attention due to the population of Nigerians but I will say stability in the finance sector is needed to attract investments into the economy,” she added.
Chen, who is also the Vice Chairman and Representative, Chinese Government China African Business Council, said the council is dedicated to the economic development of Africa and its goal is to develop membership of not only the Chinese enterprise but enterprises that are looking for business opportunities and investment in China.