The Imo-China Investment and Trade Centre and the office of the Special Adviser on Diaspora Affairs to the Imo State government have teamed up to woo foreign investments in the State that is virtually bereft of companies and federal government investments.
The collaboration to attract investments and create job opportunities in the State is taking the lead in the number of unemployed youths, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), unemployment by States, Imo State ranks first with 56.64 percent.
This paid off, when Aloy Nnabugo, the special adviser on Diaspora Affairs to governor Hope Uzodinma, paid a working visit to Odiuko Chris Igwe the director general (DG) of Imo-China Investment and Trade Centre.
And strategies were put together to attract foreign investments from Asian countries, bearing in mind the great number of Imo people living and doing various businesses in the Asian countries, the director general, Imo-China Investment and Trade Centre said.
Igwe said that the Centre had already keyed into the vision of governor Hope Uzodinma to create job opportunities, improving the industrial environmental condition of Imo State in order to attract investments to Imo from both local and foreign investors.
According to him, China is the fastest growing economy in the world and it is willing to partner with nations and agencies who are willing and desirous to tap from the enormous potentials and possibilities in China.
Going down the memory lane, Igwe disclosed that China over the years since 2003 had shown interest in Imo State through the Imo Guangdong Free Trade Zone at Ngor Okpala that was moved to Ogun State during the time of former governor, Achike Udenwa administration.
He said that recently, the Guangdong Province had written to the present government headed by governor Uzodinma, informing the government of their interest in and readiness to host the Imo-China Investment and Trade Conference in China but due to COVID -19, it has been put on hold.
They have also indicated their cooperation interest in Imo again, through the city of Changsha on areas of education exchange programmes as well as investments in agriculture, he added.
To this, the director general of the Imo-China had assured that by harmonizing the Asian Diasporas, Imo would be a hub for commerce and industry.
Speaking on ways to ensure that the Diasporas keyed speedily into the programmes, Igwe enjoined the special adviser to look into the appointment of the Asian Diaspora coordinators to help in galvanizing citizens of Imo State living in various Asian countries with the purpose to represent the interest of the state as well as her visions, according to him, will help the state to key into the national programme at Nigerian Diaspora Commission Abuja.
And he recalled that Imo has an already existing memorandum of understanding(MoU)with the city of Tianjin in China and what awaits the state is just to activate the process and investments will start flowing in.
While harping on the need for the state to embrace China through the Diasporas in the areas of culture, education, trade and investment, the director general of Imo-China enjoined the Special Adviser on Diaspora to use his good office to further strengthen the existing cordial relationship the state has with China and other Asian nations.
Meanwhile, Nnabugo, the Special Adviser on Diaspora Affairs to the governor, had stated that governor Uzodinma is desirous to develop the state and doing everything possible to create an enabling environment for Imo sons and daughters in the Diaspora to think home and bring down their investments to the state.
He noted that the government is reaching out to various countries, talking to Imo citizens who are investors and industrialists in Diaspora, especially those of Imo indigenes on possible areas of collaboration for economic development of the state.
The special adviser thanked the management of Imo-China for showing the way and assured that the Diaspora office in the state will partner with them to see how to further deepen the economic cooperation with China and other Asian nations.
Very good one indeed