|Speech by Consul General Guo Kun at the reception of the 40th anniversary of Sino-Nigeria Diplomatic Relations held by Sino-Nigeria Friendship Association|
Sino-Nigeria Relations: A win-win strategy
Followed by the historic moment of the establishment of Sino-Nigeria Diplomatic Relations 40 years ago, mutual cooperation in various aspects has impacted the lives of thousands if not millions of citizens of the two countries. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary, I take the opportunity to briefly reflect upon our shared accomplishments, take pride in our joint progress and express appreciation for our shared friendship and cooperation.
One shall certainly be astounded by the depth and width of today’s Sino-Nigeria cooperation, which could be best described as a paragon of Win-Win Model. In 2010, the bilateral trade volume surpassed 7.5 billion. In areas like contracted projects, free trade zone investment and cultural exchanges etc. dynamic and exciting bilateral cooperation can also be witnessed.
The Chinese company SINOMA is now building three turn-key cement projects for Nigeria, CCECC spares no efforts to work on the Lagos Light Railway and numerous road projects, and SEPCO III donated a new primary school to the local community while finishing their power plant project. The above mentioned projects, once finished will be the prerequisites to Nigerian industrial revitalization. Together, the Chinese Companies has employed more than 100,000 Nigerians, and thus help support their households.
In my consular district, Lekki Free Zone and Ogun-Guangdong Free Zone, typically, have attracted scores of Chinese investors. The ambitious local governments along with their Chinese counterparts are cooperating closely to bring the success of the Chinese manufacturing to Nigeria. I have the privilege to see how the virgin land has changed into today’s constructions sites and factory buildings within merely a couple of years.
Meanwhile, thousands of Nigerian entrepreneurs and tradesmen have found their new gold mines in China, especially in cities like Guangzhou and Yiwu. Today, most of the Made in China one buys at Oshodi or Shoprite are actually imported by Nigerians.
The depth of the bilateral cooperation can also be indicated by the fact that many young Nigerians have chosen Chinese as their new method to communicate the world, a case in point, Portia, a Nigerian medical School senior girl studying in a Nanjing university, China, surprised every Chinese and won the second runner up in the annual Chinese Speech competition. Her Chinese is so good that she even gets a job of hostess in a local TV station. In Unilag, the Confucius Institute established in 2009 has recruited over 1000 students. Indeed, from time to time, I am surprised by Nigerians’ language talents.
In today’s ever shrinking world, China and Nigeria need each other economically and politically. Hence, the Chinese government attaches great importance to developing the bilateral ties from a strategic perspective. The 40th anniversary reminds us of not only our accomplishments but also our common potential, therefore, the Chinese Consulate General, Lagos, is and will be dedicated to further promote the bilateral relations and confident that a growing partnership and a bright future lie ahead.