China-Africa capacity cooperation has become a booster for the economic development of many African countries, including Nigeria, a West African country that is an important African economy.
The Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, southwest of Nigeria, attracts many well-known companies due to its natural geographical advantages, good harbor conditions and beautiful natural environment connecting Lagos, the largest city in West Africa. These companies include oil, gas, warehousing, furniture manufacturing, garment production, trade logistics, engineering construction services, industrial real estate, automobile assembly, steel structure processing and manufacturing, steel pipe production, daily necessities and other industries.
Relying on the free trade zone, Chinese enterprises have entered Africa, promoted China-Africa capacity cooperation, promoted local economic development, and achieved a win-win cooperation between China and Africa.
At the first ministerial meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in 2000, China agreed to share with African countries the experience of promoting investment in the establishment and management of free zones and special economic zones. After the Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in 2006, China and Nepal jointly invested, built and managed the Lekki Free Trade Zone.
In order to attract enterprises to settle in, the free trade zone has issued a large number of preferential policies. For example, all procedures are subject to “one-stop service”; the cooperative zone has 99 years of land use rights and 50 years of franchise rights; raw materials, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, consumer goods and other investments invested by the enterprises in the zone which are related to the project are exempt from import tariffs and are not subject to quota restrictions; foreign investment capital may be withdrawn at any time, and profits and dividends of foreign investment may be freely remitted.
In March of this year, the opening ceremony of the deep-water port of Lekki, the largest port in sub-Saharan Africa, was held. Nigeria will end the history of no deep-water port. In the future, large vessels can enter Hong Kong directly, establishing Nigeria's regional port power status, while the Leki Free Trade Zone near the port will benefit directly.
Vice President Osing Baggio said that the federal government is working to transform the Lekki Free Trade Zone into an export-oriented special economic zone. The construction of the Lekki Deepwater Port project will play a vital role in achieving this goal. He said: "After the completion of the Lekki Deepwater Port, it will become one of the largest deep-water ports in West Africa, playing a pivotal role in the entire sub-regional port, and about 170,000 local people will be employed."