Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia said that the entry of the Chinese into Aba shoe and garment production process would engender healthy competition among producers.
Ikpeazu disclosed this while showing the Chairman of Huajian shoe factory, China, Mr Zhang Huarong, some locations for sitting of factory around Aba metropolis.
“The coming of Zhang Huarong and his team will boost the Aba leather and garment industry. We welcome them with our hearts to come and invest in Aba.
“We also encourage our people to see their coming as a healthy competition. I have no doubt that our people in Aba will take advantage of their coming and competition it will provide to improve on what we are already doing.
“Our target is to conquer the African leather and garment market. I am happy that the Chinese investors are responding to our request for them to come and invest in our state and make their products in Aba,” he said.
The governor also showed the team a Chinese-owned Steel factory, Inner Galaxy, already operating in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia, to encourage the new investor.
He said the venue was chosen to show the Chinese team that some of their counterparts were already in Abia and applauded the level of infrastructure in Inner Galaxy and its employment of many Abia people.
The Chairman of the company, Zhang Huarong, said the team was in the state to ascertain the level of preparedness of Abia to host the 1.5 billion dollars investment.
Huarong said the essence of the visit was to seal the deal which started during the Governor’s visit to his Shoe factory in China in the third week of April.
He expressed the readiness of his company to partner Abia to deliver the project quickly.
He described Abia as a beautiful and calm environment where business could thrive, adding that China had enjoyed a robust relationship with Nigeria.
“China has enjoyed a robust relationship with Nigeria and having a factory in Abia would build on the relationship as well as help accelerate the industrialisation drive of the Governor,” he said.
Huarong expressed the desire to be part of the technological development of Abia and Nigeria and also showed interest in sharing in its mining industry and commerce.
He described Nigeria as an open market and that the planned investment would project Abia to the world.
He noted that Nigeria would be a major trade centre in the next 20 years as he had seen a good future for the proposed shoe company.
Our correspondent reports that Ikpeazu had brokered a 1.5 billion dollars deal with the Huajian in China for the establishment of a shoe factory in Aba while on a visit to the company in Dongguan, Guangzhou, China in April.