China to assist Kenya develop its industrial capacity
22 July 2015, 17:03
Nairobi - China is ready to assist Kenya to develop a robust industrial sector in order to enhance the growing Sino-Kenya cooperation, a Chinese official said on Monday on a financial forum.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa said on the China-Africa Entrepreneurs Forum in Nairobi that Beijing has over the past three decades developed enormous industrial capacity that transformed the nation.
"China is willing to assist Kenya with both the industrial capacity as well as the relevant skills," Liu said during the forum hosted by the Industrial and Commercial BANK of China (ICBC) in conjunction with the CfC Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited.
The day-long event brought over 100 participants drawn from the China and Kenya's business and financial sector to discuss ways of strengthening Sino-Kenya ties.
China has emerged as one of Kenya's leading trading partners over the past two decades.
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Data from the Chinese embassy in Nairobi indicates that in 2014 total bilateral trade between Kenya and China reached 5.09 billion U.S. dollars, a 53 percent increase from the previous year.
ICBC Chairman Jiang Jianqing said the bank will play its role in increasing the level of Sino-Africa cooperation especially in the financial sector.
Jiang said Africa presents a huge opportunity for the Chinese bank. He added that ICBC is committed to work to increase the access of financial services to Africans.
Early this year, ICBC completed its acquisition of a 20 percent stake in Africa's largest bank, Standard Bank Group.
Standard Bank Group CEO Ben Kruger said his bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kenyan government in order to enhance Kenya's ability to mobilize funds for infrastructure projects.
Kruger said many of the upcoming infrastructure projects require cooperation of both domestic and international BANKS in order to be completed.
Kenya is currently implementing an ambitious national economic blue print Vision 2030 that aims to transform the country into a middle income country by the year 2030.
"Kenya and China can share experiences on how to overcome hurdles needed to achieve economic transformation," said Ambassador Liu.
Cabinet Secretary in the National Treasury Henry Rotich said China is a key development partner for Kenya as evidenced by the numerous infrastructures currently under way in the country.
The East African country plans to hold discussion with China's ICBC in order to host Africa's first Renmibi clearing house.
Rotich said financial sector is one of the priority sectors of the Kenya.
"We have a number of flagship projects in the financial sector which the Chinese community may be interested in investing into," he said.