by Wu Xia
BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is visiting China to ink several cooperation deals and tap investment opportunities from Chinese enterprises.
His four-day state visit, the first of its kind in five years, will give a boost to the relations between the world's second largest economy and the second biggest economy in Africa.
China and Nigeria, both developing countries sharing similar goals and challenges, have a partnership that is by nature mutually beneficial, serving the political, economic and diplomatic interests of both sides.
As a resource-rich country with some 70 percent of its population under the age of 30, Nigeria has an enviable growth potential. China can fund Nigeria's development with low-interest loans, technical assistance, and favorable trade policies.
Cooperation cannot be a one-way street. As the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria offers valuable business opportunities for China.
Its economy is expanding quickly as it has seen growth rates of above 7 percent for most of the past decade.
Chinese companies have been building roads, railways, schools and hospitals in the West African country, making life there much easier and business climate more attractive to foreign investors.
They are also helping to ease Nigeria's economic bottlenecks. China is building a hydro dam to address the country's severe power shortage, and offering technical assistance to revive its agricultural sector, which can create millions of jobs and diversify its oil-dependent economy.
In recent years, the two countries have also worked together in technology, finance and telecommunications to help strengthen Nigeria's manufacturing sector and upgrade its economy.
In Nigeria and many other African states, China has played the role of a sympathetic friend and a cooperative business partner.
China has outperformed many Western states in terms of contributions to poverty reduction and development in Africa.
Unlike some Western powers, China does not have a colonialist past. Nor does it have the intention of pursuing colonialism in Africa. African countries, including Nigeria, can be well assured of Beijing's good will and fair play in their markets.
Moreover, China, a successful and dynamic emerging economy, can share with its African partners its unique experience of achieving economic independence and strong growth.
China-Africa relations have come a long way. The two sides have nurtured a solid relationship that benefits the people of both sides.