NAIROBI, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese firms on Friday pledged to invest in Kenya in order to boost the east African country's exports.
Lyu Xinhua, chairman of Council for Promoting South-South Cooperation told journalists in Nairobi that Chinese firms are keen to form partnership with Kenyan firms to manufacture products that can compete in the global markets.
"Chinese firms are willing to help Kenya to reduce its international trade imbalance by boosting its export," Lyu said during the Kenya-China Trade and Investment Forum.
During the event, a group of over 30 Chinese firms had an opportunity to network with their Kenyan peers.
The Chinese trade delegation is on a ten-day mission to visit Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in a bid to discover investment and cooperation opportunities in Africa.
Chris Kiptoo, principal secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, said that Kenya and China have emerged as solid trading partners in the past decades.
He revealed that in order to meet the resources requirements, the government is seeking additional capacity to generate resources by leveraging exports for foreign exchange generation as well as foreign direct investments to boost production.
The Kenyan official said that the government is therefore committed to create an enabling trade and investment relationship that will enable realization of key national objectives in order to raise the levels of economic growth.
According to Kiptoo, the ministry of industry recently launched the Integrated National Export Development and Promotion Strategy that seeks to expand Kenya's exports globally at a rate of 15 percent annually.
He said that the export strategy targets growth-oriented sectors such as livestock, manufacturing, fisheries, agriculture and handicrafts.
He noted that it is the intention of the government to develop these growth-oriented sectors and is therefore keen on attracting new investments in the related value chains and also create linkages to the global market.
Kiptoo said that Kenya welcomes Chinese firms to invest in the country and there are currently more than 400 Chinese firms in Kenya serving in various sectors of the economy such as real estate, finance and agriculture.
"These companies can further join into ventures with our local industries in order to maximize production within Kenya for export, a move that will both increase Kenya's exports to China and also increase foreign exchange," said Kiptoo.
Anne Muchoki, chairperson of Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) said that Kenya and China have enjoyed excellent diplomatic and economic relationship since Kenya's independence.
According to Muchoki, Kenya's trade with China is an opportunity to transform both economies. She said that after the inaugural China International Import Expo held earlier this month, China has opened her doors to Kenyan products.
Muchoki said that Kenya has an opportunity to increase its exports now that Kenya and China have signed a working group framework on trade development and a sanitary and phytosanitary agreement to allow Kenyan goods to access the Chinese market.
Li Xuhang, charge d'affaires of Chinese Embassy in Kenya said that as Nairobi is a good partner, Beijing will continue its efforts to further strengthen the Sino-Kenyan partnership, ensuring that the bilateral cooperation will usher in a new era of vigorous development and continue to be an example for China-Africa cooperation.
Li said that China will step up efforts of policy coordination with Kenya, speed up the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the Kenya's national development blue print Vision 2030 and President Uhuru Kenyatta's development blueprint dubbed the Big Four Agenda, in order to benefit Kenyan business people.
The diplomat added that in order to further advance the economic and trade cooperation between China and Kenya, the Kenyan government and business community should introduce more incentives and policies and take concrete measures to create a safer, more convenient environment so as to attract more Chinese investment.