Nigeria-China Relations: Jonathan Due in China Next Week

Nigeria-China Relations: Jonathan Due in China Next Week

Nigeria-China Relations: Jonathan Due in China Next Week

According to the statement from the Presidential office in Abuja, Nigeria's leader Goodluck Jonathan is due in China the following week. The main aims of his visit are signing infrastructure deals, as well  as boosting trade between the Asian power and Africa's biggest oil producer.

Within the framework of his upcoming July 9 to 12 visit, Jonathan is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping along with Premier Li Keqiang, also some Chinese leaders and prominent businessmen.

Particularly, Jonathan and Chinese investors will participate in Nigeria/China investment forum. Nigerian President will also hold meetings with executives of Chinese conglomerates such as Huawei, Sinopec and ZTE, according to the statement.

Deals involving loans amounting to some $1.3 billion for areas including electricity and airport construction are expected to be signed during the visit.

The airport projects would be carried out by Chinese firm CCECC, Aviation Minister Stella Oduah said.

It would be recalled that our country has borrowed money from China to fund infrastructure projects, and Beijing has shown increasing interest in the Nigeria's oil industry.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian minister of finance, has told the press thus: "We want to build trade and economic relationships and we want to have a good exchange of knowledge," adding that Jonathan's visit aims to "increase trade, get them to increase investment in Nigeria and get a strategic long-term relationship".

"We want to up our trade volume with China of non-oil goods. This is our objective because we want to diversify our economy," she said.

Oil accounts for some 80 percent of government revenue in Nigeria.

Trade and Investment Minister Olusegun Aganga put trade volume between the two countries at $13 billion dollars (10 billion euros) in 2012, up from about $2 billion in 2005.

China has invested heavily in African nations in recent years in its search for natural resources and markets for its goods.

It has had mixed success in Nigeria, particularly concerning oil, where Western firms such as Shell and ExxonMobil continue to dominate.

Chinese energy firm Addax, owned by Sinopec, has said it was seeking further growth in Nigeria after the recent purchase of a significant offshore stake from France's Total.

In February, Addax said it was producing more than 90,000 barrels per day from four licenses in Nigeria, mainly in the shallower offshore areas.

Nigeria's total production is around 2.0 million barrels per day.

Nigeria-China Relations: Jonathan Due in China Next Week

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