Kenya, China sign agreement to deepen trade cooperation

Monday August 26 2013

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) meets Kenyan

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) meets Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Beijing. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signalled on Thursday that Beijing was willing to accept some debt defaults. PHOTO | AFP/FILE 

By Lucas Barasa The Citizen Correspondent

Beijing. Kenyan businessmen have signed a deal with their Chinese counterparts to boost trade relations between the two countries.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry through its National Chairman Kiprono Kittony signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Chamber of Commerce Machinery and Electronics in the Asian country.

Mr Kittony said after the signing that the implementation of the MOU will see many Kenya entrepreneurs export into China on one hand and many Chinese investors setting up factories and industries in Kenya to manufacture for export back to China.

“This tour is critical for our country’s business aspirations. We will be looking to partner with Chinese firms to attain value addition of Kenyan products before export. This is one of the ways of achieving trade balance that is currently hugely in favour of China,” Mr Kittony said.

Mr Kittony headed a 69 member trade and business delegation to China last week. He joined President Uhuru Kenyatta to execute a major push to woo Chinese investors and carry out negotiations aimed at achieving trade balance with the Asian economic giant.

The delegation was drawn from different sectors of the economy which include hospitality, banking and finance, mining, transport, building and construction, energy and agriculture. Many business to business matchmaking meetings have also been arranged between the Kenyans and the Chinese counterparts.

On the trade imbalance, Mr Kittony said one of the ways of narrowing the gap was by Kenya diversifying the number of products Kenyan entrepreneurs export to China. “We will need to create more business linkages with relevant Chinese business enterprises in order to help our people export more”, he added.