Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has reiterated his administration’s vision to build stronger ties and establish a more beneficial working relationship with Peoples Republic of China to attract more direct foreign investments to the state, in line with the government’s investment drive.
Gov. Ugwunayi added that the government is currently making efforts to engage new development partners to make the state the economic and industrial hub of the South-East region and a preferred investment destination in the country.
Speaking while playing host to the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Zhou Pingjian, who was at the Government House, Enugu, on a courtesy call, Gov. Ugwuanyi said that the state will be very eager to share ideas and partner with China on ways to boost trade and improve economic relations between both parties.
He disclosed that Enugu State has enjoyed a long history of interaction and association with the Government and the people of China through her diplomatic mission in Nigeria, adding that many Chinese businessmen and professionals are operating in the state.
Declaring the intention of the state government to make Enugu the centre for Chinese manufactured goods in Nigeria, the governor expressed delight that the Lion Business Park project, which the State is developing in partnership with the Nigerian and Chinese private sectors, has reached an advanced stage. He stated that his administration is “expecting that any moment from now, a delegation of Chinese Entrepreneurs will come to perform a trade exhibition in Enugu”, saying that “we will duly notify your Excellency of any agreed date and other details concerning the exhibition”.
According to the governor, “We are consequently, making necessary and unrelenting efforts to sustain the business-friendly environment that already exists in the state especially through continuous investments in security, infrastructural development, environmental improvement, expansion and regularization of social services.
“We also have about 17 potentially lucrative state-owned companies and industries dealing in diverse areas of business and production that have been listed for commercialization or privatization”.
Noting that the state is endowed with natural and human resources, which offer abundant investment opportunities, the governor stressed that the presence of an international passenger and cargo airport and the location of a Free Trade Zone in Enugu as well as the urbanization initiatives of the government, provide a further boost to the economic potentials and profile of the state.
“We therefore seek the support of your Embassy in enlightening business organisations in China as to the existence of these opportunities and to also, facilitate their entry into Enugu State as investors.
“We assure you of the safety, viability and sustainability of any commitment or investment that the Peoples Republic of China or organisations from the country, may choose to make in Enugu State”, the governor assured.
In an earlier remark, Mr. Zhou said it’s gratifying that Nigeria and China has a long diplomatic history, stressing the need to build on such history to mutually benefit both countries.
The envoy also noted that China was eager to make greater investments in Enugu, given the huge potential that abounds in the state plus its importance in the South-East region which, according to him, is home to virtually all business owners who trade with Chinese companies.
“One of my jobs has been to receive potential investors pouring into Nigeria, to share my observations with them and to encourage them to invest here,” he said, praising Gov. Ugwuanyi for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.