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Nigeria, 125 others join China’s Belt and Road Initiative – envoy

The Deputy Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhao Yong, announced on Friday that over 126 countries and 29 international organisations have signed the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Yong made the announcement at a news conference organised by the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Abuja.
He said that the second Belt and Road Forum, held in Beijing, China on April 25 on “Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping Brighter Shared Future”, was to promote the development of the BRI.
He quoted President Xi Ping of China as saying that “China will implement BRI talents programme and in five years, offer 5, 000 opportunities for exchange, training and research for participating countries.
According to him, great achievements have been made in pursuit of the BRI, since the past six years that Ping came up with the initiative.
“The trade volume between China and countries joining the BRI has surpassed six trillion dollars with more than 80 billion dollars of Chinese investments in these countries.
“The 82 overseas cooperative parks jointly built by China and the countries along the route have created nearly 300, 000 development opportunities to all countries.
“Last September, when President Muhammadu Buhari participated in the Beijing summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China and Nigeria signed the MoU on the BRI and Nigeria.
“Since then, Nigeria became a formal member of the big family of the BRI. The cooperation between China and Nigeria under the framework of the initiative has yielded benefits to the two countries,” said Yong.
He expressed his confidence in Nigeria’s delegation at the forum, led by Mrs Zainab Shamsuna, the Minister of Finance, to have brought more opportunities for joint pursuit of the BRI.
He said that although the BRI originated from China, it had become global, saying the country would cooperate with the media to make people understand the importance of the forum provided for China-Nigeria cooperation.
The envoy said that the second Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation held in Beijing on April 25, attracted 5,000 countries and 90 international organisations.
He said that China would invite 10, 000 representatives of political parties and non-governmental organisations from BRI countries soon, to encourage people-to-people exchanges.