Asian nations led by China, the world’s second largest economy, with investment appetite in Nigeria’ Africa’s second largest economy with a 6.7 percent GDP growth by Q1 2013, have been flooding the Calabar Free Trade Zone, (CFTZ), which was inaugurated in 2001, and is said to have generated over N50 billion to the Federal Government.
Two different Chinese business delegations have visited the free zone in the last three weeks, each seeking trade and investment expansions into Nigeria.
Two weeks ago, a Chinese trade delegation from Changchun City, China, announced its decision to establish a truck manufacturing plant at the CFTZ, Calabar.
Another Chinese Chamber of Commerce from Lianonig, China, led by its managing director, Wei Henghan, visited Calabar, to explore areas of investment and partnership with the Cross River State and Nigeria at large.
Henghan said their areas of interest will cover exploration of solid minerals, automobile, agriculture, manufacturing of building materials cum accessories and tourism.
He further disclosed that their visit to Cross River was intended to build on existing economic and trade relationship between Nigeria and China while other members of the delegation expressed their satisfaction with the reception accorded them by the government and people of the state.
To the Chinese, Cross River has all it takes to become the centre of economic activities in the country. The Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of Mark-Sino International FZE, Yang Wen Yi, said having been in the Calabar Free Trade Zone for 13 years, the visit of the delegation could not have come at a better time.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Calabar as an investors’ safe haven and business destination to any company due to its peaceful nature and immense natural resources,” the chairman concluded.
The General Manager, Mark-Sino International, Free Zone Enterprise, Calabar, Promise Okoi, explained that before the visit, a group of Chinese companies had expressed interest to invest in Nigeria particularly, Cross River State.