Ambassador of China, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, Akwa Ibom, Business, Nigeria

The visit of the Ambassador of China, Dr. Zhou Pingjian to Akwa Ibom State being the first ever by any senior official of the People’s Republic of China is in every sense significant and symbolic.

His choice of the State as the starting point of his tour of Nigeria to prospect for investment opportunities and partnerships signposts the mileage the State has reached in global rating. Thanks to the quality of leadership that providence has brought the way of the State in the last almost two decades.

China is said to have a population of about 1.4 billion. That makes her arguably the largest market in the world. But rather than rue over the negatives that afflict large populations like shortfall in food supply and pressure on infrastructure, it has focused on the advantages and maximised them by aggregating the energies of the people and channelling them into manufacturing, production, agriculture, scientific breakthroughs, mining and even entertainment.

Today China’s economy is the largest in the world and growing in geometric progression owing to that government’s policies on education, entrepreneurship, interest rate , access to funds to small and medium scale enterprise which have budded the plethora of items manufactured in China and lastly deliberate and aggressive eradication of poverty.

The choice of Akwa Ibom as a destination by a powerful delegation comprising the Ambassador, staffers of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria, Chinese construction giants operating in Nigeria and the State, is an indication of the rating Akwa Ibom is enjoying from the most populous country in the world. The visit also holds the prospect of a viable cooperation that would bring great benefits to the State.

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China as we know is a First World. It is known in the manufacturing of a surfeit of goods and the provision of highly skilled services. It has recorded novel breakthroughs in many facets. A viable relationship with China would therefore witness robust partnerships and the setting up of manufacturing outfits that would generate employment and engagement for the people. And manufacturing being the real sector is the hub of any viable economy.

Nigeria and China enjoy robust and cordial relationship which was established in 1971. Currently, it is Nigeria’s biggest trading partner. In the last few years, more than 12 billion US dollars have exchanged hands between the two countries. The prospects for more are seeming with the Ambassador’s tour of Nigeria to explore for new ways of strategic relationships that would encourage balance of trade.

This certainly would be buoyed by China’s deliberate cultivation of cordiality which the Ambassador said is the counselling the Home Government gives to Chinese doing business outside China and which involves working with the locales and contributing meaningfully in the development of the community. For the disparity in trade balance , the Ambassador during a courtesy call on the governor said the Chinese government is interested in trade balance, not in trade surplus in her favour. He said the strategic cooperation would include the encouragement of “Made in Nigeria” products to boost the economy.