Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone (FTZ), an outcome of the commercial partnership between south China’s Guangdong Province and Ogun State, Southwestern Nigeria, celebrated its 10 years of continuous operation and growth on Tuesday.

The celebration demonstrated the 10 year achievements and future prospects of the 100 square kilometre industrial park and witnessed the signing of agreements and memorandum of understanding of new tenant enterprises.

Adeniyi Adebayo, Special Representative of Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, said that the free trade zone has helped boost Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and promote the country’s industrialisation process, adding that his country welcomes more business cooperation with China.

“We are talking to Chinese companies. We believe Chinese companies will be attracted to come and set up in the special economic zone that we are setting up,” he said.

The Ogun-Guangdong FTZ was one of the first eight foreign free trade zones approved by Chinese government, and also one of the first batch of free trade zones settled in Africa.

Located near Lagos, the economic centre of Nigeria, the zone is now home to 63 companies ranging from furniture manufacturers to green energy suppliers. In 2018, the zone generated a total output value of 120 million U.S. dollars and created over 6,000 jobs for local communities.

“Under the frameworks of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt & Road Initiative, Chinese Entrepreneurs have brought their development experience to Nigeria. I believe the Nigerian people welcome such experience,” said Chu Maoming, Consul General of China in Lagos.