The representative of the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria and the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, Yan Yuqing, (Envoy) has said the bilateral trade between Nigeria and China stood at $22.6bn in 2023.

Yuqing also said Nigeria had maintained its position as China’s third-largest trading partner in Africa.

She disclosed this in Lagos at the arrival ceremony of CMA CGM Scandola, the largest container vessel to call at a Nigerian port.

It was reported that in November 2023, the top exports of China to Nigeria were synthetic filament yarn woven fabric ($160m), pesticides ($84.1m), non-knit women’s suits ($81.5m), mobile telephone devices ($67.2m), and artificial hair ($59m).

In November 2023, the top imports of China from Nigeria were petroleum gas ($95.8m), crude petroleum ($71.5m), niobium, tantalum, vanadium, and zirconium ore ($13.5m), zinc ore ($13.1m), and raw aluminum ($12.6m).

She, however, said that with the deployment of the CMA/CGM West Africa Express service direct from China to Lagos, the $1.5bn Lekki Port has become critical to growing the trade volume between Nigeria and China.

“The volume of bilateral trade between Nigeria and China stood at $22.6bn in 2023, according to statistics from the Chinese Customs Authority. China maintained its position as the top global trading partner and Nigeria stands as the third-largest trading partner for China in Africa,” she said.

Yuqing added that Nigeria’s export to China had also witnessed a year-on-year growth of about 50 per cent in 2023.

She said Nigeria was the outstanding pilot nation for the Belt and Road Initiative, making a community with a shared future for China-Nigeria more stable and robust.

According to her, the arrival of CMA CGM Scandola at Lekki port with a capacity to carry 15,000 twenty foot containers or equivalent units directly from China makes the cooperation between China and Nigeria stronger.

“The Lekki Deep Seaport is a significant milestone in the high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road, (an initiative that supports Africa’s industrialisation) between China and Nigeria. We are pleased to see it playing a positive role in Nigeria’s national modernization development,” she said.

“In recent years, the cooperation between China and Nigeria in the field of airport, seaport, railway, road, communication network and other infrastructure has made great achievement. Projects such as the Blue and Red Line Light Rail, the Lagos-Ibadan Railway, and the international airport gave us a glimpse of Lagos accelerating into a globally attractive supercity,” Yuqing said.

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