A 50-man delegation from Hunan Province of China has signed a sister-state agreement to partner with Cross River Government in agriculture and other areas.
The delegation, which arrived Calabar the capital city of Cross River State, southern Nigeria were received by the Governor, Professor Ben Ayade and his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu.
During the pact signing ceremony, Governor Ayade called for greater unity to form strong economic ties for the benefit of the two countries,
He said: “Hunan and Cross River must come together to form a new economic embrace that depicts cross-economy, culture, respect and prosperity to the two divides”.
Explaining that Cross River State remains the epicentre of tourism with a people highly moderated by their conduct and act, Ayade urged the investors to “capture and explore the African market, take advantage of the 1.3 billion people in Africa by using Cross River State as your base”.
He announced the donation of land for the investors to develop “China Town” in Calabar, noting “Cross River provides hospitality and create investors ambience for local and international investors. Open your hearts to the great investment opportunities as we conduct you round”.
“You have great opportunities in pharmaceuticals, construction, infrastructure, agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing. The opportunities are limitless and great, even as the landscape is illimitable”, hinted Ayade.
Ayade, who said he was overwhelmed by the visit, announced “the first 50 investors that will come from Hunan to invest in Cross River State will have land for free to establish their factories”.
He assured the team of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to ensure that the various projects in the State were completed.
“We have the President of the country with us; he is ready to make sure that your investment in Cross River and indeed Nigeria is fully protected, while ensuring that your investment in the country is also expanded”, said Ayade.
Earlier, Vice Governor of Hunan Province in the Peoples Republic of China, Bao Xiang, explained that his team was in the state to implement the pact and to give a big boost to the relationship between China and Nigeria.
Xiang, who spoke through an interpreter, disclosed that Hunan has more than 73 million people, located in the Central part of China with 210,000sq km of land.
He further disclosed “in 2016, the total GDP of the province was 430 billion US dollars and after more than 30 years’ development, Hunan transited from a traditional to a modern province”.
The Vice governor explained that his team would venture into agriculture, education, infrastructure development, manufacturing and cultural partnership with Cross River.