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Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, China to sign MOU to promote trade balance

By - Cyrus Ombati | August 19th 2013

By Cyrus Ombati

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry National Chairman Mr Kiprono Kittony has arrived in China as the head of a 69 member trade and business delegation to China. 

He will join 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.

On arrival, Mr Kittony, whose Chamber will be signing an MOU with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, made clear their intention saying it will help Kenya in boosting its investment.

“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.

The delegation is from different sectors of the Kenyan economy which include: Hospitality, banking and finance, mining, transport, building and construction, energy and agriculture.

On the trade imbalance, Mr Kittony said one of the ways of narrowing the gap was by Kenya diversifying the number of products 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.

Mr Kittony challenged Chinese investors to set up companies in Kenya and manufacture locally for export to the Chinese market. 

“Chinese business should enter joint ventures with Kenyans or even individually and take advantage of the political stability and the very attractive investment incentives provided by the Kenyan government.”

 The delegation is expected to sign an MOU with the Beijing Chamber of Commerce and Industry whose main objective is to promote trade between Kenyan and Chinese entrepreneurs. 

Many business to business matchmaking meetings have also been arranged between the Kenyans and the Chinese counterparts.

 Mr Kittony lauded the move by the President Uhuru to include large business delegations, who are all paying for themselves in his entourage saying this will expose the Kenyan business people to the many opportunities available in China.

 He noted that among the highlights of the president’s engagements with the Chinese leadership is the conclusion of discussions on the Standard Gauge Railway line project. 

“The proposed Standard Gauge Railway line will be a major boost to our Intra-Africa trade aspirations. I hope the president will wrap this up during state visit to China” said KNCCI National Chairperson.

 Mr Kittony said Kenya was well positioned to be the manufacturing, education, medical, transport hub in the East, Central and the horn of Africa region.

“We must therefore put our acts together and roll out the infrastructure including addressing the high energy if we must exploit the over 200 million people market.”

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