Nigerian companies: CIIE helps in developing new partners
By Deji Badmus
Muda Yusuf, director general of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a non-profit that boasts over 1,500 members, says Nigerians companies have benefited from participation in the China International Import Expo (CIIE).
"It has brought a lot of members, and even non-members have taken advantage of the China International Import Expo to promote trade, to develop partnerships. And all of that is also a very good platform for Nigeria to showcase our export potentials to the international and global community," Yusuf said.
Asked what challenges and opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the global economy, and what role the CIIE can play, Yusuf said Nigeria needs equipment and technology.
"For us, to strengthen our capacity to produce also need imputs," Yusuf said. "We need equipment, we need technology. Most of these things we don't have within the country, so we need to reach out to countries like China to be able to build a capacity to be able to be less dependent on imports."
The COVID-19 pandemic has weakened Nigeria's oil exchange and its capacity to import, Yusuf said, adding that the country needs to strengthen its industries.
"And in doing that, we need to get the support of the Chinese businesses and government to develop our infrastructure and also to develop the capacity of the individual industries to be able to deal with the challenges of import substitution," Yusuf said.
"So, there are opportunities in the area of exports and import substitution. There are also opportunities in the area of creativity and innovation in developing all these opportunities. I think we need very good strategic partners from other countries, China inclusive."
The CIIE is a major initiative for China to actively open its market to the world. Intended deals worth 71.13 billion U.S. dollars were agreed at the second CIIE held in 2019. The third expo is scheduled to run in Shanghai from November 5 to 10 and more than 90 percent of the planned exhibition area has been booked so far.
(Video cover: The Nigerian stand at the first China International Import Expo, November 18, 2018. /VCG)