Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has reiterated his administration’s vision to make the state the economic and industrial hub of the South-East region and a preferred investment destination in the country.
Speaking when the ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr. Zhou Pingjian, paid a courtesy visit to the Government House, Enugu, the governor noted that the state government was working to engage new development partners and attract more direct foreign investments to actualize that dream.
He said that the visit offers the state and the Peoples Republic of China an ample opportunity to build stronger ties and establish a more beneficial working relationship, adding that his administration is keen on sharing ideas and partnering the Chinese embassy on ways to boost trade and improve economic relations between the Asian country and Enugu State.
According to him,”We are particularly interested in making Enugu the centre for Chinese manufactured goods in Nigeria,” Gov. Ugwuanyi told the envoy and his team.
“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, infrastructure development, environmental improvement, expansion and regularisation 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 commercialisation or privatization,” he said.
He said that the state was endowed with natural and human resources that offer abundant investment opportunities, adding that the presence of an international passenger and cargo airport and the location of a Free Trade Zone in Enugu as well as the urbanisation initiatives of the government, provide a further boost to the economic potentials and profile of the state.
In an earlier remark, Mr. Zhou said it was gratifying that Nigeria and China have a long diplomatic history, stressing there was 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, including 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.