On Tuesday 22nd May 2018 , KNCCI participated in the First Forum on Kenya-China Cooperation bringing together companies from both Kenya and China to seek synergy and partner in areas of common interest.
The forum which was held in Nairobi saw attendance by representatives from both the Chinese and Kenyan government including the Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Economic & Commercial Counsellor of the People’s Republic of China in Kenya Dr. Guo Ce, Meru County Deputy Governor Titus Ntuchiu, Chairman of the National Police Service Johnstone Kavulundi, the Kenya Investment Authority as well as private sector member associations.
Among the topics discussed included the imbalance of trade between the two countries with Kenya’s exports to China amounting to $97.05M in 2017 as compared to imports worth $3.31B in the same year. In response to this the Chinese government promised to address barriers preventing the ease of Kenyan products entry into the East Asia.
“Chinese are willing to break trade barriers that restrict Kenyan businessmen from exporting to China,” said Dr. Guo Ce, Economic & Commercial Counsellor of China’s Embassy in Kenya.
Dr. Moses Ikiara, Managing Director of the Kenya Investment Authority, said Nairobi has improved the policy and regulatory environment to attract direct investment from China and achieve long-term growth. The government further encouraged the establishment of Chinese companies in Kenya so as to improve the employment rate and reduce the level of foreign exchange lost through importation of goods and services with numerous incentives in place for Chinese investors wishing to set foot in the country.
The CEO of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated the need for healthy dialogue between Kenyan and Chinese enterprises to facilitate trade and investment that unleash shared prosperity.
Zhuo Wu, Chairman of Kenya Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said Chinese companies were willing to partner with the Kenyan government and private sector to achieve the Big Four Agenda. “Chinese companies have the resources and expertise to invest in affordable housing schemes, large and small-scale irrigation dams and agri-business to ensure that Kenya attains the goal of food and nutrition security,” said Zhou.
China has also committed to supporting all the four sectors under the governments Big Four Agenda with many Chinese companies ‘willing and able’ to provide the skills and products needed for the success of the various projects. Among the priority sectors highlighted by the various speakers included agro-processing, manufacturing and real estate with various Chinese companies honored for their role in Kenya’s development including: China Road and Bridge, China Wu Yi, Avic and Twyford Ceramics for their roles in various projects around the country.