The government of China, through the Jiangsu Province, an equivalent of the Nigeria’s Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) is at the final stage of concluding arrangements to open a representative office in Nigeria.
The Director General of JEIC, Mr. Xu Yiping, said the office which will soon be opened will help in in fast tracking the development of small and medium entrepreneurs, adding that this will not only transform the economic and industrial landscape of the country, but strengthen the relations between the two countries.
The disclosure was made at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between the Managing Director of NEPZA, Mr. Gbenga Kuyi, and Yiping in Abuja.
Reiterating NEPZA’s statutory function as federal government’s agency responsible for investment facilitation into Nigeria’s Free Trade Zones, Kuyi added that the agency is exploring every efforts aimed at encouraging investments flow into the country in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said the agency is presently going through a radical transformation that would see to the actualisation of government’s Vision 2020, which is just few years from now.
According to Kuyi, the unveiling of the MoU on SMEs’ office in Nigeria is a further testimony in furtherance of the cordial relations between China and Nigeria.
He said: “This event marks the beginning of another phase in our continued efforts to promote economic cooperation and to ensure the socio economic development of both countries. I strongly believe that the two countries will work assiduously to ensure the success of the partnership.”
Kuyi further said: “Well as you are aware Skyrun is already at the Calabar Free Trade Zone. They presently manufacture fridges and other light industrial items. The plan is now to expand the scope to bring in other light equipment in line with the transformation agenda of President Jonathan.”
In his remark, Yiping said Jiangsu province has 9 export processing zones, 9 free trade zone and 1 bonded port.
“In 2012, the province realised the paid up registered foreign capital of $35.76 billion, accounting for 32 percent of the national total.” he said. He added that about $6 billion investment has flowed into Africa, of which Nigeria has been a beneficiary.
Besides the opening a representative in Nigeria, he said he actually came to Nigeria to know more about the environment and the investment opportunities available.
“Already there are China presence in every nook and cranny in Nigeria, so we are here to get more information for future investment from Jiangsu province, especially in areas of Information Technology (IT), light industries, building material and in transfer of technology,” he pointed out