Tuesday, May 1, 2012

China in Nigeria: Triumph of the Beijing Model?

According to a 2011 survey from the Pew Research Centre, 76 percent of Nigerians have a generally positive view of China. And with Beijing providing moral and material assistance at a level most Western countries can’t compete with, it’s not too difficult to see why.

Yet relations between these two countries may not always go so smoothly, for theirs is a trade dynamic full of structural challenges.

At the risk of turning away from the shrill tone that has become par for the course of late in analyzing China’s ‘selfish’ policies towards Africa, it must be said that the trade relationship that exists between China and Nigeria is mutually beneficial in several key ways. First and foremost, the trade flows in question are substantial. Total trade volume stands at over $18 bn USD, and in terms of investment, Nigeria is China’s second-largest FDI destination on the continent after South Africa. Much of this investment goes into large-scale infrastructure projects that have the dual benefit of increasing Nigeria’s economic competitiveness and ensuring Chinese access to Nigerian resources, largely in the form of oil and gas. Read More