BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

‘Chinese President to triple African exports to China by 2024’

With the intention of facilitating growth and promoting cooperation between China and Nigeria, the Chinese Lagos Consulate-General has called for more trade connections between both countries.

Speaking at the 2022 Stanbic IBTC African-China Expo, Guo Pengwen, the Chinese consulate-general Lagos, emphasised the Chinese government’s readiness to work with all the countries to build an open world economy.

According to him, President Xi Jinping, Chinese President, intends to triple African exports to China by 2024 by supporting African trading companies to enter the Chinese market, while noting that China and Nigeria as the important economies in Asia and Africa need to share trade cooperation to benefit the people of the two countries.

Victor Ayemere, managing director, and chief executive officer, Zeenab Export Limited, noted that the Nigerian government has done a good job by setting up the Nigerian export trade house in china, which is set to launch in November during the China International Import Export (CIIE) if the Covid situation in China becomes better.

He explained that the Nigerian export trade house is a Nigerian warehouse in China that guides Nigerian exporters on logistics and marketing.

However, for Nigeria to leverage the potential of its non-oil sector, experts at the program emphasised the need for the country to embark on strategic policy reforms.

Fola Abimbola, senior consumer analyst, Stanbic IBTC, highlighted that the import-export lag, issue of reforms, as well as the inability to utilize the key potentials as China has done is a challenge for Nigeria, further stating that “we need reforms to drive export growth which will ultimately be good for disposable incomes.”

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Abimbola noted that Nigeria is in a situation whereby imports from China are three times the exports to China, productivity is growing slower than output, and while the population is growing three to four percent, the output is growing less than 1 percent.

“China is Nigeria’s largest trade partner/importer, but all we do is export oil to China and import diversified products from China. However, in Nigeria, the conversation is now shifting towards how to tackle the non-oil export gap in the economy. How do we continue to grow productivity and improve non-oil exports?” he added

Explaining what needs to be done by Nigerian businesses to access international products, Samuel Oyeyipo, regional coordinator (South West) Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) urged them to ensure they meet all necessary certification requirements of counterpart countries.

Oyeyipo stated that most exporters or MSMEs, in Nigeria, have products that can compete in the international market, however, one of the issues noticed by the NEPC was most do not have the necessary certification to attest to the quality of the products, because MSMEs being weak in the capital cannot afford these certifications.

Seun Ogundolapo, head, trade, transactional products and services, Stanbic IBTC Bank, explained that the Asian continent has overtaken Europe as Nigeria’s trading partner, with China accounting for over 40 percent of Nigeria’s trade volumes.

Ade Otukomaya, the head, Africa-China Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, urged Nigerian exporters to embrace export, particularly to the Chinese people.

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