China vows to assist Kenya to industrialize
16 September 2015, 21:45
Nairobi - China is ready to offer lessons to Kenya on the best way it can industrialize, Chinese envoy said on Wednesday.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa told a media briefing in Nairobi that Kenya is one of the pilot nations of the China Industrialization Cooperation Program.
"We would like to share the lessons and expertise we have acquired with Kenya in our journey to achieve industrial success," Liu said during the launch of the Kenya Industrial Transformation Program (KITP), the country's first ever Industrialization Blueprint geared at positioning the East African nation as Africa's next industrial hub.
Liu said the experience sharing will be as a result of the successful bilateral relations and numerous exchange visits.
The ambassador noted that after decades of rapid industrial expansion, China is now at the stage where it can offer high quality goods at an affordable price.
In a span of roughly 35 years, Beijing has managed to become the world's second largest economy, the third largest foreign investing country and the largest goods trading country. China has achieved a major milestone by becoming the largest trading partners of more than 130 countries.
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According to the Chinese official, determination is a key ingredient to achieving industrial success. "It is important for the government to have the determination to implement industrial policies," he said.
Liu stressed that local entrepreneurs must be given an opportunity to flourish through the establishment of favorable investment climate.
"China is able to attract both domestic and foreign investments by ensuring that investors are able to make a reasonable return on their capital," he said.
Liu stated that a key pillar of China's success is the development of world class infrastructure that enables goods to reach the market.
Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development Adan Mohammed said Kenya is ready to learn from China's success in the manufacturing sector.
"We are also keen to attract Chinese manufacturers who are looking for new areas to set up operations," he said, noting that the new industrial program will transform Kenya's manufacturing landscape in the next five years.
"In this period, we want to create at least 40,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector by focusing on the leather, textile, agro-processing areas," Mohamed said.
He added that the goal is to increase the manufacturing sectors' contribution to the Gross Domestic Product from the current 11 to 15 percent.
He said the manufacturing sector could easily absorb the thousands who enter the job market annually, adding that Kenya's ideal location makes it manufacturing hub for the fast growing East and Central African region.
According to the released program, the Kenyan government has developed a comprehensive strategy to capture opportunities that will more than double the amount of current formal manufacturing sector jobs and add two to three billion U.S. dollars to Kenya's GDP.