Nigeria’s balanced and diverse relationship with China is key to sustainability

Nigeria, however, has managed to buck this trend and build a balanced and more diverse relationship with China. Nigeria’s relationship with China extends beyond resources and infrastructure to security, financial planning and sharing of best-practice in manufacturing, to name a few areas of cooperation. Particularly in the realms of security cooperation; the Chinese have found an area that helps win them local support on the ground in Nigeria given a near-universal desire to eliminate insurgent forces. Nigeria also recognizes that the size of its domestic market offers the largest opportunity in Africa for Chinese companies; and that has helped to improve the balance in the relationship.

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Automation is the biggest challenge to the Belt and Road Initiative - Wake Up Call

With automation advances, foreign investors in manufacturing have less incentives to move their production abroad. But, many countries are still investing in infrastructure and are engaging with BRI on the proviso that they can be beneficiaries of the flying geese phenomenon and attract manufacturing investors through a combination of good infrastructure and low wages. Therein lies a paradox and perhaps the biggest risk facing BRI that no one is talking about.

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