By Akeem Abas
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has invited investors from China to participate in the Polaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone of the State Government.
The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Sunday said Ajimobi struck the deal while in China.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls that the Oyo State Government and China Polaris Group had on Nov. 1 collaborated to establish a 2billion dollars Polaris Pacesetter Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
The governor had turned the sod of the 2 billion dollars FTZ on a 1,000 hectare on the Ibadan axis of Lagos-Ibadan express way.
Arulogun said the governor had at the Great Hall of China addressed no fewer than 1,000 Chinese investors on the need to participate in the Polaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone Development Limited.
He stated that the governor was on a mission to improve the quality of lives of its people by bringing development to the state.
He said the governor had assured the would-be investors of safety and protection of their valuable assets.
“The FTZ was a significant departure from previous experiments in Nigeria as it was being anchored on the China-Africa Industrial Capacity assistance and cooperation model.
“The project has its bilateral as well as functional sister relationship with the Guye-Tangshan Free Trade Zone in China to form a ‘sister’ Free Trade Zone platform.
“This would further lead to the deepening of the bilateral relationship between China and Nigeria’’, he said.
According to him, the state is genuinely and sufficiently interested in the Chinese industrialisation model which the governor hopes could be replicated.
Arulogun said the governor had assured his host that a local and national market awaited the investing partners.
“There are huge potentials for manufacturers and service providers in this barrier free business environment.
“The state’s economy is an emerging one. This presents no limits for the investing public as the economy can be expanded and stretched without limitations.
“The future of the market and economy will therefore be controlled by the activities of today providing enormous opportunities to our investing partners.’’
Arulogun said the investors were assured of up to 100 per cent foreign ownership of businesses in a Zone where foreign capital investment could be repatriated at any time, with capital appreciation thereon.
He said the investors were further briefed on how profits and dividends could be allowed to be remitted offshore in the proposed market that would serve as platform for strong international competition.