One of Nigeria’s top sources of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), China invested $1.79 billion in the West African country last year, according to Chinese Consul-General, Mr Liu Kan.
The investments, which are non-financial direct investments, according to Kan, were mainly those of Chinese companies involved in petroleum, iron and steel, agricultural and manufacturing sectors, as well as free trade zone.
“The main investors, which are more than 40 companies, include China National Offshore Oil Corporation, China National Petroleum Corporation and China Railway Construction Corporation,” the Consul-General said.
He stated that the Chinese Government was committed to encouraging and supporting Chinese companies’ investment in Nigeria, just as it continues supporting the country’s efforts at attracting foreign investment.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in its Global Investment Trends Monitor of 2013, Nigeria’s FDI declined by about 20 percent to $5.5 billion, largely due to asset sales by foreign oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron.
China has however maintained its trade with Nigeria, with bilateral trade volume between both countries rising to $13 billion in 2012 from $2 billion in 2002.
Mutual benefits have been enjoyed by the two countries in agriculture, economics, infrastructure, communication, cultural exchange and education over years of cooperation, Mr Kan said. Over 200 Chinese companies are working in these areas.
Some analysts remain sceptical however, about whether or not collaboration with Beijing is beneficial for African countries and their development goals. However, the Asian country’s growing influence in global trade is something Nigeria has leveraged on over the years.
The country is expected to continue trading with China as the impacts of its bilateral relationship with China continues fostering economic growth.