Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun says that the China-Nigeria trade volume has recorded a great rise of 7.1 per cent in the past one year to hit $12billion. Cui made this known in Abuja during the Nigeria-China Cultural week, one of the activities lined up to commemorate the 2022 National day celebration of Nigeria and China. He said that Nigeria has continued to be China’s number one trading partner in Africa as he strongly urged Nigeria to produce more commodities to be exported to China to ensure balance of trade. The envoy also expressed optimism of a bigger economic boom in Nigeria with the ongoing projects like the Lekki deep sea port, Zungeru Hydroelectric Power projects, Dangote refineries amongst others set to be commissioned in 2023. Cui said he was delighted over the strengthened cooperation between both countries under his five GIST strategies across all spheres; political consonance, economic cooperation, military and security collaboration international coordination, people’s communication, China Symphony initiative, Harmony and Symphony “Our efforts are bringing more benefits to the two peoples. In the first half of 2022, our bilateral trade volume reached 12.03 billion U.S dollars, up by 7.1 per cent year on a year. “Trade really is important not only to improve the quality of life, it is very important for the country’s economy. Trade is very important for development. “So we are encouraging more businesses in Nigeria to produce a lot of commodities to export to Chinese market and China are the number one consumer market. “Lekki deep Seaport, we should be proud of this big project. This is the biggest one in the whole of West Africa. The Lekki deep sea port can accommodate 1.2 million containers. This is really going to change the business. “And also we have the biggest Hydroelectric Power station, Zungeru, we have 700 watts and also will be commissioned at the end of this year. That means electricity that could accommodate the whole of Abuja. Read also: China to waive some Africa loans, offer $10bn in IMF Funds “We have our high ways, railways and the airports and also other projects constructed by the Chinese company such as Kaduna-Kano railway. “The most important project to Nigeria, Africa is the Dangote Refinery project so we do not need to import petroleum from other countries and Nigeria will not only produce crude oil but we can have petroleum and this could solve the problem,” Cui said. On the event, Cui said that the photography and video contest and award to Nigerians is also China’s way of strengthening the cultural ties, and people-to people relations between both countries. “Harmony is universal value. The Embassy held Nigeria-China Harmony and Symphony Photograph contest and short video contests respectively from the beginning of this September. “So many talented people, especially young people submitted their videos in such a short time, today is also a day of harvest and we will get to know who will be the winners. “I assure you that China and Nigeria will stand shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand to promote our win-win cooperation and build a more beautiful tomorrow. Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) thanked the Chinese Embassy for always creating and opportunity and platform to strengthened the Nigeria-China relations. “Let me specially thank the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria his strength of economy cooperation between Nigeria and China. “No matter how we look at it, the Chinese people have developed a very strong economic profile and we can tap into it to encourage develop our tomorrow. “I also want to thank his Excellency on the issue of security and terrorism which is very key to us. thank for the communication strategy, the people to people communication. “And for our youths who would have been busy with other negative things are now being engaged. Harmony is key whether you take it for granted. “What the Chinese stand for in their own region is what we stand for in Africa so we need to marry that strength and develop what we make of it and make our country a great country we can be proud about,” Runsewe said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event which was also co-hosted by the Ministry of Information and culture was organized to commemorate the Oct. 1 62 Independence Anniversary of Nigeria and 73rd National Day of China. This year also marks 51 years of the bilateral relations between both countries.