China’s trade with BRI partners hits $9.2 trn, says envoy

 Mr Cui Jianchun, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, has said that trade between China and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) global partners, including Nigeria, had already hit $1.35 trillion dollars.

Cui, who disclosed this on Wednesday, in Abuja, at a BRI symphony played by the China-Nigeria orchestra at the Chinese Cultural Center, said that trade with African countries hit the $1.35 trillion dollars mark in 2020.

Highlighting the importance of China’s BRI Initiative to Nigeria and other countries across the globe, Cui said the Embassy was also developing strategies to promote the BRI initiative between Nigeria and China.

“The main essence of the BRI is about viable connectivity. First, it is about policy coordination, second, it is about facility connectivity.

“The third is about unimpeded trade, the fourth is about financial integration, and the last is about people to people bond. And I hope that everybody here today would remember the five connectivity.

“There have been great achievements of the BRI in the past eight years. “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 have signed this document.

“I also took part in the drafting of this document and I am very happy that Nigeria signed this document in the year 2018.

“Since 2013, we have recorded $130 billion dollars investment. The third figure is about the trade, we have accomplished $9.2 trillion dollars in trade all over the world with our International partners.

“Nigerian young people are very keen about e-commerce and I want to let you know that we have 22 countries that have e-commerce with China and I do believe that it can be done with Nigeria” Cui said.

He added: “Also, last year, 2020, the trade with BRI partners was about $1.35 trillion US dollars. This also includes for COVID response, economic stability and people’s livelihood.

“So, trade is really important for BRI partners. We need Chinese products, we also need products from the BRI partners”.

The envoy said that the Chinese Embassy in Abuja, under his leadership, had developed a strategy called 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 stands for 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 Is represent; first, Infrastructure, second is ICT, third is about Industry; railway being 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 think of how industry in Agriculture, manufacturing, can be implemented.

“The fourth is about investment in Agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing, oil and gas. So, I think we really need investments and how to attract Foreign Direct Investments.

“The third S are; on Security, we need structure, we need speed because we cannot be lagging behind in the 21st century. We need synergy and supervision.

“The Fourth T represents Thoughts. We need to exchange our thoughts on the government and peoples level, we also have Talents, Treasure, Technology and Tradition”, Cui said.

Also delivering a lecture, Mr Julius Enehikhuere, a Former Editor-in-Chief at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), stated that it was always exciting when China discussed Nigeria’s problems, as both countries had several similarities and challenges.

He noted that there was a ray of hope for Nigeria, if it can toe the path of China to attain its success.

“China is helping us to drive infrastructure decay in Nigeria, which we are presently battling with, and I pray that we break more grounds as we go along, so that China can know that there is a government in Africa that can be trusted.

“China is not ready to do business with lazy leaders in Africa. If you are talking about the Belt and Road Initiative, they are looking for people who are serious. For a win-win situation.

“The Belt and Road Initiative is like a locomotive, moving and looking for things of interest that can attract China.

“And that is why the first thing they are doing is building infrastructure, so that there can be a valid ground to bargain.

“I am happy for my country because we have it right now and we know what doing business with China means”, Enehikhuere said. (NAN)