Kenya uses expo to grab larger China market

Wednesday September 11 2019

Tourists from China who toured Nyeri County, Naivasha and Maasai Mara.

Tourists from China who toured Nyeri, Naivasha and Maasai Mara in Kenya. Kenya has intensified its bid for greater access to China’s 1.4 billion market share by organising promotional events. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ONYANGO K'ONYANGO
By ONYANGO K'ONYANGO
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Kenya has intensified its bid for greater access to China’s 1.4 billion market share by organising promotional events seeking to increase its export to the Asian giant despite the existing trade deficit favours of Beijing.

A series of events were held in Beijing between August 30 and September 3 to promote Kenya’s products.

During Kenya Day at the 2019 Beijing International Horticulture Exposition, Kenya promoted its tourism, trade and investment through the Centre for Cultural and Commercial Promotion of Kenya. This was one strategy to increase its exports.

Principal Secretary for Trade Chris Kiptoo said Kenya is betting on its good ties with China to increase its exports to Beijing by an annual target of 20 per cent.

“In 2018, Kenya exports to China increased by 10 per cent. This year, we hope to make it 20 per cent. Kenya Day provides a platform to showcase products such as horticulture, services, tourism, culture, sports and manufactures,” said Dr Kiptoo in Beijing.

The trade balance is skewed heavily in favour of China. In 2018, Kenya exported goods amounting to $111.328 million to China and imported goods worth $3,708.3 million.

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Nairobi currently prioritises agro-processing and housing under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda and the PS urged Chinese to consider investing in Kenya through joint ventures with local companies or through public-private partnerships.

“Kenya is looking to increase foreign direct investment from China, especially in affordable high technology to support the realisation of President Kenyatta’s action plan, particularly in manufacturing and low-cost housing,” Dr Kiptoo said.

The Chief Administrative Secretary at the Foreign Affairs Ministry Ababu Namwamba wooed Chinese to visit Kenya as tourists.

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