Trade between China and Nigeria and other countries in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has hit $1.35 trillion, said the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Cui Jianchun.
Mr. Cui who disclosed this in Abuja during a BRI Symphony played by China-Nigeria Orchestra at the Chinese Cultural Centre, said 140 countries, including Nigeria, have signed into the programme.
Highlighting the importance of China’s BRI Initiative with Nigeria and other countries, Cui said the embassy was also developing strategies to promote the BRI initiative between Nigeria and China.
The envoy stressed that young people in Nigeria were very keen on e-commerce, adding that the nation wants to have 22 countries with Nigeria as one.
According to him, “We have 140 countries plus 30 International Organizations that have signed this document. In the African continent, we have 46 countries, including the African Union that has signed this document.
“Since 2013, we have recorded 130 billion dollars investment. The third figure is about trade, we have accomplished 9.2 trillion dollars in the trade all over the world with international partners.
“Also last year, 2020, the trade with BRI partners is about 1.35 trillion US dollars. This also includes COVID response, Economic Stability and the People’s livelihood.
“The main essence of the BRI is about viable connectivity. First is about policy coordination, second is about facility connectivity.
“The third is about unimpeded trade, the fourth is about financial integration, and the last is about people to people bound. And I hope that everybody here today you could remember the five connectivity.
“There have been great achievements of BRI in the past eight years. Now we have 140 countries that have signed this document with the Chinese government, Nigeria is also part of the country.
“I also took part in the drafting of this document and I am very happy that Nigeria has signed this document in the year 2018.
“So trade is really important for BRI partners. We need Chinese products, we also need products from the BRI partners,” Cui said.
He said the Chinese embassy in Abuja under his leadership had developed a strategy termed the “5GIST” as a means of promoting future cooperation within the framework of the BRI between China and Nigeria.
“In this strategy, the 5GIST means 5 goals, 5Is, 5Ss, and 5Ts which is the China-Nigeria GDP strategy. The GDP means growth, development, and progress.
“The first five goals are; political support, economic cooperation, military collaboration, international coordination, and people-to-people bond.
“The second five are; first is about infrastructure, second is ICT, third is about Industry; the railway is key for the Nigerian people.
“Without industry, we cannot get rich, we cannot get strong, we cannot create more jobs, we cannot create income. So, we believe that industry in the agriculture, manufacturing, how they can be implemented.
“The fourth is about investment in agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing, oil and gas. So I think we need investments and how to attract Foreign Direct Investments.
“The third S is; on security, we need structure, we need speed because we cannot be lagging in the 21st century. we need synergy and supervision.
“The fourth T; are thoughts, we need to exchange our thoughts on the government and peoples level, we have talents, treasure, technology, and tradition,” Cui said.