World Bulletin/News Desk
China announced on Saturday a visa exemption for Nigerian diplomats and government officials under a package the Asian giant says aims at strengthening trade and diplomatic relations with Africa's most populous country.
"We all know that visa issue is very important for the purpose of promoting our countries’ relations," Chinese Ambassador Deng Boqing told a gathering of Nigerian businessmen and diplomats at the Nigeria-China Business Roundtable and Luncheon in Lagos.
"We have, therefore, decided to offer visa exemption for Nigerian diplomats and senior government officials in a first phase," he said, to the applause of the gathering.
"In the future, we will also be working with the Nigerian government to simplify other citizens’ visa application process," added the diplomat.
He confirmed that the package takes affect from February 1.
"China is prepared to promote people-to-people interaction between the two countries," said the ambassador.
He urged the Nigerian and Chinese business communities to foster relations and strengthen business interaction between them.
The diplomat asserted that Chinese investors plan to increase their Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria in 2014 and beyond.
He confirmed that trade between both countries had increased by 25 percent in the last three years, coming short of giving exact figures.Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2014, 21:54