LAGOS, May 7 -- China encourages more Chinese enterprises to expand investment in Nigeria's manufacturing sector, transfer technologies and train personnel to increase local job opportunities, Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said on Wednesday.
Nigeria has a huge population and consumer market, while China has an edge in the processing industry, Gao told Xinhua.
The two countries can further deepen bilateral cooperation in areas like textile, garment and household appliance industries on the basis of their current economic and trade cooperation zones, while gradually expanding the scale and level of cooperation, Gao said.
Nigeria is China's third largest investment destination in Africa and China's accumulated investment in Nigeria has reached 1.95 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2012.
In recent years, investment from China's private enterprises in Nigeria has increasingly been active as over 40 Chinese private firms have entered Nigeria with a total investment of 800 million dollars in the fields of agriculture, textile industry, construction materials, mining and others,Gao said.
Chinese enterprises invest in Nigeria's seed cultivation and have become the Nigerian government's seed providers, which helps boost local self-support in grain, he said.
Chinese and Nigerian enterprises have joined hands in operating satellite networks, with digital television signals covering 84 percent of the African country, which promoted cultural exchanges of both countries, Gao said.
Within the framework of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, Chinese enterprises and the Nigerian government have worked together to build two economic and trade cooperation zones in Nigeria and to open chinaware, furniture and household appliance manufacturing factories, which have created more than 4,000 jobs in the country, Gao said.
Nigeria currently has become China's third largest trade partner and second largest export market in Africa, while China is Nigeria's third largest trade partner.
Trade value between China and Nigeria reached 13.6 billion dollars in 2013, almost five times the figure in 2005, Gao said.
China and Nigeria have achieved remarkable results in cooperation in infrastructure construction. Nigeria is a country where Chinese enterprises undertook most infrastructure projects in Africa, Gao said.
Chinese enterprises have repaired an accumulated length of 4,500 km of railway in Nigeria since 1995, as they currently are building modern railways and metropolitan light rails there, he said.
Chinese enterprises and Nigerian telecommunication operators have cooperated closely to raise Nigeria's mobile phone subscription rate to 91 percent in 2013 from less than 1 percent in 2001.
Chinese enterprises have also actively embarked on cooperation in the construction of power plants, highways, and airport terminals, among others, in Nigeria.
Both China and Nigeria are big developing countries. The two countries each have their own advantages in the fields such as resources, funds, manpower and market, and their economies are highly complementary, Gao said.
In the near future, Gao said, China and Nigeria will continuously deepen their cooperation in trade, investment in the manufacturing industry, agriculture and infrastructure, in order to push forward their economic and trade cooperation to a broader and higher level.