President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday depart for China to participate in the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) scheduled to hold September 3 – 4, 2018 in Beijing, a statement by his spokesperson Garba Shehu has said.
Aisha Buhari, 9 ministers, 4 governors, 4 senators, among others, are on the president’s entourage for the trip.
The statement continued:
The President’s first engagement in Beijing will be an interactive session with the Nigerian Community in China at the Nigerian Embassy.
Before the formal opening of the FOCAC Summit, President Buhari in his capacity as current Chair of ECOWAS, is expected to deliver remarks at the High-Level Dialogue between Chinese and African leaders, business representatives and African entrepreneurs.
The Nigerian President is scheduled to join President Jinping and other African leaders for the opening and roundtable sessions of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit under the theme: “Towards an even Stronger China-Africa Community with a shared Future.” After the FOCAC Summit, President Buhari will hold bilateral meetings with President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang to discuss infrastructure financing for strategic projects in Nigeria and the upgrading of Nigeria-China relations “from strategic partnership to comprehensive strategic partnership.” The President will also use the occasion of his audience with the Chinese leadership to assess the progress made so far in Chinese interventions in Nigeria’s key priority infrastructure projects, particularly on-going projects in the railway and power sectors.
It is noteworthy that since the last FOCAC VI Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2015 – the first attended by the Nigerian leader – and his successful State visit to China in April 2016, the current administration has pushed forward practical cooperation with China in the areas of infrastructure construction, trade, investments, finance, power, agriculture, education cooperation, among others.
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