Mr Li Xuda, Cultural Counselor of the China Cultural Centre, Abuja says China will open its market to Nigeria for the West African country to export its art and crafts in the nearest future.
Li made the announcement while speaking to the diplomatic correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the 15th International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC) in Abuja on Sunday.
NAN reports that the 2022 INAC Expo, organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has the theme “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”.
Li said that China was willing to support Nigeria in showcasing its rich culture, arts and crafts to the world and to build stronger relationship between Nigeria and China.
“From today so many things impressed me. I see the beautiful dance, the drums; the music; the arts and crafts.
“I see that China in the future will open its market to Nigeria so that Nigerian arts and crafts will be exported to China and to invite your dancers to perform in China.
“You know, China and Nigeria have similar cultural activities as well as traditional cultural exchanges.
“We have also hosted cultural activities like cultural week, drawing competition to learn about our two countries, to showcase their talents and at the same time we will support Nigeria cultural events.
“We will build our friendship and let the people of both countries know each other so that our relationship will be better and stronger,” Li said.
The diplomatic community and some ambassadors at the event also commended the Director-General of the NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe, for organising the expo, which they described as a unifying factor.
The Ambassador of Venezuela to Nigeria, Mr David Caraballo, said that Venezuela and Nigeria had similar culture and food and that staging the expo would strengthen cultural ties between both countries.
“It is our fourth year, participating in this important international activity, organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture of Nigeria.
“Venezuela and Nigeria have strong roots of similar culture, food, history, music and dance and this opportunity every year is important, especially after the pandemic and after COVID-19 restrictions.
“In this expo, we present different products of Venezuela, the exportable products, like food products and services as well as products like chocolates and foods for daily use.
“We are preparing to attend the upcoming Abuja International Trade Fair in October,” Caraballo added.
Mr Wendel De Landro, Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to Nigeria, pledged his support to Runsewe in promoting the annual event, which he said had been a means of unifying countries and cultures in Nigeria.
“One of my goals here is supporting schools in Nigeria. So we are bringing back from the diaspora back to Africa, what we got from Africans coming across with the drums.
“Culture is universal, see what happened when they say come and dance, you see everybody dancing.
“Music, whether they do not understand what they are saying, you see everybody dancing and this is what Otunba is doing by not only bringing unity in Nigeria of different cultures but from other countries.
“We hope it is going to continue and definitely every year, I am going to support him,” De Landro said.
NAN reports that 25 countries and eight states in the federation participated in the expo.