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尼日利亚:贸易深化大有可为


尼日利亚:贸易深化大有可为

文 | 本刊特约撰稿  伊肯内·埃梅乌(Ikenna Emewu) 尼日利亚“非洲与中国传媒中心”总编辑

    翻译 | 周佳 

编辑 | 杨海霞

导读:

与中国开展贸易往来可以带来巨大收益。尼日利亚应当吸引中国的通信设备配件、汽车设备以及铁路方面的投资,本地化生产以促进更广泛的贸易。

● 尼中贸易:双方均获益良多

挑战:电力短缺与中国产品质量

政策措施:货币互换、本地生产、增强信任

尼中贸易:双方均获益良多

尼日利亚与中国之间的贸易利益巨大,且富多样性,符合双方的经济利益。我一直认为,中国贸易商品种类繁多、涉及面广,所以中国与任何国家之间的贸易永远不会是单方面的。
说到贸易平衡,两个贸易往来国家绝不可能是平等的,所以它必须有利于中国,原因很明显,它拥有更好、更大、更广泛的经济,其生产的深度和产量当然都是世界第一的。同时,我还看到的是在此影响下,另一方获得经济增长的可能性和收益。
举例来说,中国对尼日利亚贸易顺差,而尼日利亚从中国购买机械,然后将用这些机械生产出的产品出口到其它国家,并由此获得贸易顺差,因此,我们可以说,她在与其它国家更大产量的成品贸易中获利,而非洲与中国之间的贸易,通过此举进一步开展更大规模、更深领域的生产。在此生产过程中,她不断加深专业化水平。就这样,尼日利亚从与中国的贸易逆差中获益,反过来帮助她与其他国家的贸易。
与中国开展贸易往来可以带来巨大收益,这在埃塞俄比亚、肯尼亚、摩洛哥和南非等其他非洲国家都是显而易见的,所以尼日利亚需要认真对待,并获得同样的红利。其实可以集中力量开展工业机器贸易和进口来实现这种获利。我在思考与中国开展贸易的这些国家获得的增长时,我认为,相对而言这个巨大的经济体对于较小的经济体来说是最好、最理想的贸易伙伴。它表明中国的贸易是开放的,符合世界贸易组织规则。中国以最开放的方式进行商业合作,是因为他们充分了解与其他经济体融合发展经济来维持本国经济的益处所在。
我的观点是,在贸易和经济关系方面,中国不会建立隔离墙。相反,他们会建立起桥梁,形成有益的互联互通、共赢局面。他们并没有自顾自发展,而不管不顾自己的合作伙伴。

挑战:电力短缺与中国产品质量

挑战主要在尼日利亚方面。我们有责任坚守我们的交易原则。中国没有责任为我们做这件事。在商业领域,我们只能依靠自己营造有利环境,没有其他任何人能代替我们做到这一点。
我们的挑战应该是如何提升自己的电力系统,因为这关系到几乎每个经济部门的动力问题。例如这里的中国投资者一直在大量开展木材加工,然后出口到中国,因为它不需要那么多的电力来支持。
从总体上看,长时间以来,人们的印象是,中国出口到这里的产品质量差,价值低。但同时,中国也生产优质产品销往世界其它地区和经济体,如欧洲、亚洲和美国,甚至尼日利亚。这表明,中国的一部分人制造劣质商品,并与尼日利亚的拥有相似消费观念的商人做生意,并认为所有非洲或尼日利亚的市场和消费者都很穷。这是不正确的,因为欧盟、美国、日本、韩国和其他国家为尼日利亚带来了最优质的商品,且仍在售卖这些高质量商品。我们知道什么是优质产品,并了解劣质产品和优质产品之间的差别。尼日利亚制造的电缆就是一个很好的例子,其质量优于从其他任何国家(包括中国)进口的电缆。因此,中国必须应对这一挑战。
我认为与中国的贸易和投资融资并不是主要挑战。我们需要资金来开展业务,但是彼此之间的信任有利于获得资金支持。

政策措施:货币互换、本地生产、增强信任

在激励措施方面,尼日利亚和中国今年就出台了非常好的政策,4月份生效的货币互换政策无疑激励了两国之间的贸易往来。这是向前迈出的一大步,因为不再需要通过美元、欧元等中间货币进行交易。但我们必须改进政策,因为现在它只是照顾到精英人群。政策还应保证能惠及寻常百姓,让普通老百姓可以轻松购买人民币满足需要,正像他们原来购买美元、欧元和英镑那样。
中国在信息通信技术方面做得很好,从芯片到小工具,在尼日利亚很有市场。例如,开关、信息通信技术硬件和骨干网络等产品为尼日利亚信息通信技术和信息技术部门提供了巨大支持,该市场基本上由华为这样的巨头主导。
我们需要让中国在尼日利亚设厂生产小配件;比如说我们可以达成一项政策协议,规定尼日利亚市场上35%的中国产品配件必须在本地制造。而且由于中国的众多产品上的出口配额已经超过了世界贸易组织规定,在当地设厂生产移动配件对其来说并没有任何损失,因为毕竟尼日利亚80%的手机和笔记本电脑品牌都是在中国生产的。
中国也正在成为另一个世界汽车生产巨头,出现了本地产能过剩。目前,大多数尼日利亚汽车用户依赖进口的二手汽车,因此中国可以考虑在尼日利亚建立汽车工厂,用它来辐射大部分非洲市场,这样可以节省成本。
尼日利亚必须要牢记,与中国的贸易应该是朝着双赢目标迈进的,尼日利亚首先应该制定经济政策,以推动国家增长为主要目标,同时拓展与中国的经贸关系。
中国的中欧班列刚刚完成从四川省成都出发,途径16个国家,到达终点波兰罗兹的第10万次行程。每次行程都是将中国货物运往沿线国家,并在回程中将外国货物运回中国。我们需要做同样的事情,找到鼓励中国资助建设铁路的方法,联结所有西非经共体国家和非洲其他地区,就像中国在蒙巴萨和坦桑尼亚,以及亚的斯亚贝巴和非洲之角的吉布提之间铺设铁路一样。
例如埃塞俄比亚这样的国家已经在贸易和本国工业化方面通过与中国开展更多经贸活动,建立更密切经济关系,获得了更多的利益,同时改善了本国经济形势。
我们首先需要加强人与人之间的关系。当彼此成为朋友时,人们的关系才会更好。因此尼日利亚和中国应该在教育、文化、友谊、人力资源等方面建立更多的联系。
我们拥有数百万非常勤奋、富有创造力的尼日利亚人民,他们同样真诚,值得信赖。尽管我们每天听到、看到的媒体报道都是消极的,我们真正与中国人交往时,才发现他们拥有多么好的品格。因此,我建议更好的人际互动,双方应该定期和周期性举办投资会议、论坛和峰会,以使来自尼日利亚和中国的商人能够会面和联系。(本文作者对尼日利亚工程师和商人华盛顿•乌巴进行了采访,此文为其主要观点)

⬆2017年1月6日,辽宁省大连市,中国首批出口尼日利亚的客运内燃机车在大连下线(CFP)


英文版:

To explore more information and knowledge about trade and economy between Nigeria and China, the«China Investment (African Edition) »magazine requested an interview from an informed Nigerian on the benefits and prospects of a better trade relations between Nigeria and China and we spoke with Nigerian engineer and businessman, Washington Uba who explored the strong points of China’s economic relationship with the world and Nigeria and suggested ways to make the benefits better.

Benefits of trade between Nigeria and China

The benefits in trade between Nigeria and China are so huge, diverse and are good at the economy of the two sides. I have always argued that trade between China and any other country can never be one-sided because of the diverse nature and range of Chinese goods of trade.
Regarding balance, there is no way two trading countries must be equal, so it must be in favour of China for obvious reasons of having a better, bigger and broader economy with a high depth and volume of production that is the largest in the world of course. I rather look at the possibilities and gains of one leveraging on the other for growth.
Let’s take for instance that China has a bigger balance of trade against Nigeria and Nigeria in turn as an example sells the goods, which are produced from machineries bought from China, to other countries and gets a favourable balance of trade against such other countries. And Nigeria has therefore made her profits from the larger volume of production of finished goods she trades with other countries other than China. Through that way she will reap bigger and deeper production and would have deepened expertise in such production. That way, Nigeria has gained from her unfavourable trade with China that has her favour trade with others.  
We have good examples of what trade with China can bring as benefits which is noticeable in other African countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa, so Nigeria needs to be serious and reap the same benefits. That is actualized through concentration on industrial machine trade and imports. When I think of these growths in the countries that trade with China I see that huge economy as the best and kindest to smaller economies comparatively. It shows China’s trade is open and in tandem with the WTO rules. I dare say that China does its business in most open manner because they understand the benefits of integration with other economies to sustain theirs.
My position is that in trade and economic relations, China does not build walls. They build bridges that form links and beneficial interconnectivity and win win. They don’t work or relate to take everything to themselves and leave the partner wallowing in loss.

Challenges

The challenge is mainly on the side of Nigeria. We have a duty to firm up our bargain grounds. It’s not the duty of China to do it for us. In business, you make your environment profitable and nobody else does it for us. We should be up and doing.
Our challenge is that we should firm up our power system that drives virtually every sector of the economy. I give you an instance, the Chinese investors here have been making a great harvest of timber production and export to China because it does not require so much electricity to handle. They are rugged and strong people that go into the forests in hinterland Nigeria to procure the timber and send to their country.
There is this stereotype that has built over time that Chinese products here are inferior and don’t have value for the money. But the same China makes also good quality products and send to other countries and economies all over world like Europe, Asia and the US, and even Nigeria. That shows that some elements within China make the inferior goods in liaison with other like minds in Nigeria and with the assumption that all African or Nigerian markets and consumers are poor. That is not correct because the EU, America, Japan, South Korea and the rest bring top quality goods to Nigeria and still sell them. We know what good quality product is and know the difference between the inferior and superior. A good example is that electric cables made in Nigeria are better in quality than any imported ones from any country, including China. So China has to work on that challenge and with time and links created, China and Nigeria would get to know each other better and relate more profitably.

Policy enhancement and other incentives

We need to enhance first our relationship with each other at the person-to-person level. People relate better when they are friends and when they know each other more. So Nigeria and China should build more linkages in education, culture, friendship, human resource enhancement etc. Let China not fixate on making or allowing Nigerians remain menial and unskilled partners at work places. It is proven that skilled and knowledgeable people are easier to handle. We should deliberately vitiate biases and looking down on each other.
Again, on the side of incentives, Nigeria and China have done well this year to encourage trade between them through the currency swap policy that came into effect in April. It’s a great step forward because that bye-passes the hitches of trading through intermediary currencies like the dollar, euro etc. Since the coming into force of the deal that started with just $2.5b, we know there have been boosts as the Nigerian central bank now release the US dollars and Chinese yuan into the foreign exchange market at every trading season, and because about 45% of Nigerians that buy forex for trading are those that trade with China, this has eased the tension on the value and exchange rate of the naira over the dollar. But we have to strengthen the policy because now it is somehow just elitist. The use has to trickle down to the street where people can easily buy the yuan for their needs as they buy the dollar and euro and pounds sterling. We hope it gets there fast.
China has been doing well in the ICT, from chips to gadgets, and most of which is consumed in Nigeria. For instance, the switches, ICT hardware and backbone that power the Nigerian ICT and infotech sector are from China and dominated by the Huawei giant. We need to have China locate factories that make gadgets in Nigeria to a certain percentage; say for instance that we get into a policy pact that 35% of Chinese gadgets consumed in Nigeria must be locally made. And because China has exceeded its export quota with the WTO in so many products, there is no loss in siting these factories here to make mobile gadgets where 80% of the phone and laptops brands consumed in Nigeria are made in China.
China has also become another world giant in automobile production to a point of overcapacity locally. Right now, most Nigeria automobile users rely on imported fairly used ones, so China can site its automobile plants in Nigeria and use it to cover most of the African markets and save cost.

Local enhancement

There is every need for Nigeria not to forget the reality that trade with China should be a win-win deal and we therefore at our local level should enhance and make reliable our leadership together with corporate and policy governance in order to favourably compete. We need these things gotten right to move on profitably. Nigeria should first make economic policies enabling and a major target to drive the nation’s growth and make also trade with China and indeed all nation’s worth the while.
The China-–Europe train track recently celebrated its 100,000th trip from Chengdu in Sichuan Province through 16 countries that terminates at Lolz, Poland. The trips are just about taking Chinese goods from China to these countries and bringing in theirs to China in the return journey. We need to do the same and find means of encouraging China to assist in funding a rail track to link all ECOWAS countries and other regions of Africa just like they did between Mombasa and Tanzania and between Addis Ababa and Djibouti at the Horn of Africa.
I know that countries like Ethiopia have found more benefit and taken higher their economy by trading more and linking better with China in trade and local industrialization.
Financing trade and investment with China is not what I see as a major challenge. Yes, we need finance to do business but trust breeds and favours financing. When a partner in business hasn’t finance but has trust and integrity, the other party that has the finance can stake some of it being sure that the finance is secure. That boils down to trust again among the sides like I said earlier.
We have millions of very industrious and creative Nigerians who also can be trusted and sincere. It is the same with China notwithstanding the negative media feeds we swallow every day, and we can never find these good personalities until we interact. So I advocate better interpersonal interactions and the need for the two sides to regularly and periodically host conferences, fora and summits on investment to enable businesspeople from Nigeria and China meet and relate.