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FCT is a key foreign investment destination- Minister

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Babatunde Opalana 

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has described the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja and environ as a  resourceful destination for direct foreign investments while urging prospecting investors to avail themselves of investment opportunities that the FCT provides.

He said this while unveiling the numerous investment opportunities in the Federal Capital Territory to a visiting delegation of investors from the Hebei Province of the People’s Republic of China.

The Minister informed the visitors on Thursday that FCT is a fertile ground for foreign direct investment because of its strategic location, conducive atmosphere, tight security and attractive incentives.

He said,“the green fields in phases four and five of the Federal Capital Territory are very well suited for investment in agriculture and agro-processing. We have a centralised airport and our railways would soon be fully developed in the next couple of years. Abuja is, therefore, a good place to set up factories for agricultural machinery and spare parts. These can be transported either by rail, when it is ready or by air through FCT cargo terminal.”

Malam Bello further requested the delegated to help in the development of local capacity and the effort at making Abuja the investment hub of Nigeria, noting that Abuja regularly attracts governors and business men from across the country such that any product showcased here always attracts national attention.
The Minister revealed that he had arranged for a group of business men from the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), to meet with the delegation later in the evening to consolidate on the discussions held with the delegates.

He expressed happiness with Hebei Province Government plan to open an office in Abuja and pledged to give them maximum support towards its successful take-off.

Earlier, in his remark, the Deputy Governor of Hebei, China and leader of the delegation His Excellency Wang Xiaodong introduced the province to officials of the FCT Administration revealing that theirs is one of the biggest economic regions among the 31 provinces and municipalities in China.

According to the Deputy Governor, Hebei has an area of 188,000sq km and 74million population with a GDP of $500million by its 2016 estimates. Located in an area contiguous to Beijing, the Chinese capital, it is fully industrialised with a developed commuter transport system, he noted.

Iron and steel potentials, Mr. Xiaodong revealed, is estimated at 200m tonnes thus one of the leading steel producers in the world, while the annual output of cement is 120million tonnes. Flat glass output in the province, he stated, is estimated at 100million tonnes coupled with its advanced development in agriculture and agro-processing. “We have an advanced investment in agriculture. Production of fruits, cotton, meat, oil, milk and dairy production play very prominent roles in our economic life ranking us from the 2nd to the 5th in China respectively,” he added.

Mr. Xiaodong expressed optimism in Nigeria and especially Abuja, saying that what they saw made a deep impression on the delegation. He had impressive words for Abuja’s pleasant environment and good planning while observing that Nigeria has indeed laid a good foundation for an economically viable city.

He said that “there are obviously many complementary features, potentials and space for cooperation between Abuja and Hebei Province” remarking that entrepreneurs from Hebei are eager to partner with Abuja in many mutually beneficial fields.

The Chinese delegation numbering 20 included high profile players like Zhao Dianlong, President of the Chinese Construction firm, CCECC and Huang Xianghua, Deputy President of China Fortune ltd, the best company in city planning in China with assets valued at over 200bn RMB.

Others were Zhu Hong, Deputy President, Shijiazhuang Junlebao Dairy Co. Ltd a top level firm in the world in cow breeding and dairy processing as well as Li Manchang, MD Baoding Shuofeng Ltd, a leading producer of cotton in the world.

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