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Nigeria, China trade deficit stands at $18bn — NEPC

The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Nonye Ayeni has disclosed that the trade deficit between Nigeria and China currently stands at…

The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Nonye Ayeni has disclosed that the trade deficit between Nigeria and China currently stands at $18 billion as at the end of 2023.

Nonye made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja during a collaborative meeting between the council and the Department of Commerce of Hunan Province, China

She said the meeting was important to improve on bilateral trade between Nigeria and China as Nigeria is the third largest trade partner to China and second largest importer of Chinese products.

Speaking further, she said, “Given the existing trade relationship, we are here to discuss other things that will help us scale up. Hunan province is special to us because that is where we have our export trade house. 

“Accordingly, Total trade between Nigeria and China stands at $22.81 as at the end of 2023. Import from China is around $20.4 and export to Nigeria is just about $2billion. Therefore, the trade deficit is about $18 billion dollars and we believe if we collaborate, we will close that deficit so we can bring in our agricultural products into China. 

“We have over 1,000 products in large quantities and we expect that the collaboration will help us improve. The NEPC is focused on a 12-18 months target focusing on top 20 products based on global demand in the markets in which China is a top destination.” 

Ayeni highlighted some of the challenges Nigerian Exporters encounter which she seeks quick resolution from the commerce province. 

“We have over 1,000 exportable products and just very few products are on the Chinese protocol list so we are asking for an additional list including Hibiscus, Soya beans and other products, therefore we want the list to be expanded.

“We also want you to look at the high tariff on Nigerian products so we can be able to compete on the global market. Import duty they charge Nigerians is higher than other countries. 

“Similarly, exporters have complained that not all Chinese banks accept letters of credit from Nigerian banks which is a huge challenge and we will want that addressed so that it will scale up bilateral trade between Nigeria and China,” she said. 

In his response, the Director General of the Department of Commerce, Hunan Province, Shen Yumoe, said China would be investing $400 million in Nigeria for the construction of an industrial park, adding that the concerns noted by the executive director will be addressed in due course.

 

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