Ayade, Chinese governor meet on trade, investment

 Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade and Mr Hu Heping, governor of Shaanxi Province of China displaying a copy of an MoU for cooperation between their states

In a continuation of his investment drive, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state yesterday signed a partnership agreement with his counterpart in Shaanxi Province in China, Hu Heping, to bolster the injection of capital by Chinese business men into the Calabar Carnival, the Power and Solid Minerals sectors in Cross River state.

Shaanxi, is a province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of the Northwest China region, and lies in central China.

It covers an area of over 205,000 km2 (79,151 sq miles) with about 37 million people.

The China-Africa Development Fund, CAD Fund, in May 2016, signed a cooperation agreement with Shaanxi government in the capital Xi'an, the first of its kind with a provincial-level partner that aims to boost more investment in the African market.

Hu Heping, governor of Shaanxi province, at the occasion said the agreement had great significance for companies in Shaanxi, pointing the way for them to go abroad and accelerate their steps into Africa.

According to the agreement, the two sides will establish Shaanxi Africa Industry Development Fund, which will help local companies in financing, project selection and loans for their businesses in Africa.

"As a province with traditional heavy industry, including energy development and manufacturing, Shaanxi has a good number of companies which have an advantage in mining, oil exploration and large-scale equipment manufacturing. All those sectors are needed in Africa," Hu said at the occasion.

He added that the China Development Bank, together with CAD Fund which has nine years of experience in Africa-related investment, will help companies in Shaanxi gain more information and financial aid in their business expansion in Africa.

Chi Jianxin, chairman of the fund, said there were unprecedented opportunities in China-Africa cooperation at present and the thing that Africa needed the most was capital.

The bank allocated $3.2 billion in the CAD Fund for more than 80 projects, from infrastructure to agriculture to energy resources in 35 African countries including Nigeria.

By the end of 2016, the bank hit its target of pooling $5 billion to go into the fund, aiming at further diversifying financial vehicles that facilitate Chinese investment in Africa.

Governor Ayade said after the signing of the agreement that "It is the enormous opportunities that this fund avails Africa that Cross River state wants to tap into. We have the assurances of the governor and the people of Shaanxi that the favorable business climate in Cross River state will be utilized by Shaanxi .
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