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Nigeria-China trade surges to $23 billion in 2023, the third largest in Africa

Trade between Nigeria and China reached $22.6 billion in 2023, a significant increase from previous years, according to Yan Yuqing, representative of the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria. This establishes Nigeria as China’s third-largest trading partner in Africa.

Key statistics:

  • Bilateral trade hit $22.6 billion in 2023, up 50% year-over-year.
  • Nigeria is China’s third-biggest African trade partner.
  • Top Chinese exports: synthetic fabrics, pesticides, women’s apparel, phones, artificial hair
  • Top Chinese imports: petroleum gas, crude oil, metal ores, aluminium

The arrival of the CMA CGM Scandola, the largest container vessel to ever dock in Nigeria, signals strengthened economic ties. The ship’s 15,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) capacity sailing directly from China to the new $1.5 billion Lekki Port illustrates Nigeria’s critical role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative to grow African industrialization.

“Nigeria was the outstanding pilot nation for the Belt and Road Initiative, making a community with a shared future for China and Nigeria more stable and robust,” said Yuqing.

Major Chinese infrastructure projects in Nigeria worth highlighting include:

  • Blue and Red Line Light Rail
  • Lagos-Ibadan Railway
  • International airports

Yuqing remarked that these examples showcase Lagos’ acceleration into a globally competitive metropolitan area. With trade flows and strategic partnerships expanding, the economic bonds between the two nations continue to solidify.

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