Kenya and China have signed six trade agreements and promised to form a joint working group to address trade barriers between the two countries to reduce trade imbalances.
During the bilateral talks and the signing of the agreements between Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Kenya expressed optimism that the agreements will increase its export to China and improve the economy of its people.
"The six trade agreements signed on Thursday between Kenya and China will improve trade and deepen relations and collaboration between our two countries. Kenya seeks to increase agricultural exports to China to address trade imbalance between the two countries," said Ms Omamo.
"The establishment of a working group to look into the issues of tariff and Non-Trade Barriers will see the two countries increase intra-trade."
The two countries have agreed to collaborate on Information Communication and Technology (ICT) to boost digital economy in Kenya, continue in the development of regional transport for economic hub on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and creating market of Kenyan agricultural products.
In the talks, Kenya seeks to export avocado and aquatic products while China intends to continue donating rice to the East African country to assist in humanitarian aid.
China has also refuted claims that it is lending money to Africa to trap it with debts.
Mr Wang said those spreading false information want to destroy its relations with African countries to their benefit.
However, he added that China will continue helping African countries to combat its challenges including poverty and underdevelopment.
“This so-called debt trap is not a fact, it is speculation being played out by some with ulterior motives. This is a narrative trap created by those who don’t want to see developments in Africa. If there is any trap it is about poverty and underdevelopment,” he added during their meeting with the Kenyan government at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Hotel in Mombasa.
Mr Wang said China would want to work with other countries that are friendly to African countries to eliminate poverty, underdevelopment and contribute to Africa’s pursuit for independent and sustainable development.
The Chinese minister said China will continue to strengthen and deepen its cooperation with African countries.
He added that China will continue supporting Kenya in realising industrialisation and modernisation at a faster pace.
“Our commitment is to be Africa’s good friend and partner. Our bilateral relationship has become a fine example of solidarity, co-operation and common development between China and Africa. We will continue to support each other,” he added.
Mr Wang said China will donate one billion vaccines to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As a friend of Africa, China will never sit idle. The vaccines will be delivered in every corner of Africa where there is a need. We have announced another 10 million doses of vaccines to Kenya. In the face of various acts of power politics, China and Africa will defend international justice and fairness,” said Mr Wang.