CIIE, an opportunity for made-in-Africa products to go global: Nigerian expert

ABUJA, Nov. 08 (Xinhua/GNA) – The ongoing
maiden edition of China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai is a
meaningful starting point that provides Africa with an opportunity to promote
made-in-Africa products in the international market and key into the global
value chain, a Nigerian expert has said.

In an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday,
Charles Onunaiju, director of Centre for China Studies in Abuja, said the CIIE
offers a very robust dynamic market with effective demand, describing the
world’s first import-themed national-level expo as “a global
marketplace”.

According to Onunaiju, if countries
representing the African continent make any reasonable impression there, that
will give a concrete leeway to several African countries.

“They (the participating African
countries) can convert this important moment into a permanent advantage for
African industrialization efforts, for Africa’s re-energized economy,”
Onunaiju said.

Scheduled to run from Monday to Saturday, the
CIIE is a mega-exhibition which will see China and other countries attracting
lucrative international businesses.

With the slogan, “New Era, Shared
Future,” the expo will strengthen business cooperation, open China’s
market wider and promote free trade.

The expo is a demonstration of China’s faith
in free trade and globalization, believing that trade can genuinely offer a way
out for the African continent and many other developing countries, said
Onunaiju, who is also an international relations expert.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is
showcasing export opportunities in solid minerals, oil and gas, movies and
music, as well as agricultural products at the expo.

Onunaiju said for Africa, the CIIE is a
historic opportunity to test its stamina, creative ability and innovative
acumen in value-added products in the Chinese market and the global market at
large.

“For Africa, there is no better
opportunity to redress the so-called imbalance in global trade. China is not
just offering investment, infrastructure, financial support, it is now offering
market. The most important element in any meaningful development is the
market,” he said.

The expert advised African countries to take advantage
of China’s huge market of over 1.3 billion people that have the capacity to buy
value-added made-in-Africa products.

China’s imports from Africa hit 75.3 billion
U.S. dollars, up 32.8 percent in 2017. On the other hand, China’s exports to
Africa reached 94.7 billion dollars, up 2.7 percent the same year. The trade
surplus was around 19.5 billion dollars, down 45.2 percent year-on-year,
according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs.

“Today, China has offered the market. Now
there is a guaranteed market for African value-added products, not just
minerals and natural resource,” he added.

GNA

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