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Kenya's SMEs to network with Chinese counterparts

03 October 2014, 13:22

Nairobi - Kenyan entrepreneurs are set to leave for China where they will network with their Chinese counterparts in order to upgrade Kenyan business skills.

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Director of Retail Banking Annastacia Kimtai said the regional financial group is sponsoring 70 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for a ten-day business trip to the Asia nation.

"During the trip, the business delegation will get an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the unique SME propositions available in China," Kimtai said during a media briefing on the upcoming trip that runs from Oct. 8-18.

The travelling group will draw participants from the trade, industry and services sectors and will have an opportunity to network with other business people from around the globe during the visit.

Kimtai said Kenyan entrepreneurs will also be able to leverage on both import and export opportunities.

"They will also acquire new skills for running and improving their companies," she said. The director noted that SMEs in China account for about 60 percent of the country's industrial output.

"Many Chinese SMEs were started by enterprising individuals and the trip will give an opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn from their success stories which can be emulated," she added.

KCB Head of SME Susan Situma said that SME's are the engine of the Kenyan economy. "They need to be offered the necessary tools to help them achieve their business goals," she said.

Government data indicates that the subsector employs about 85 percent of the Kenyan workforce which translates to about 7.5 million people.

Also read: ILO invests KES 48 m to boost SME’s

The sector contributes to about 20 percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP). Eri-Kenya Limited Managing Director Eyob Hadish said that he hopes to expand his business into the building and furniture sectors.

"China is the best source for these products," Hamish said.

Joworld Agencies Chief Executive Officer George Omambia said trading with China offers Kenyan entrepreneurs huge opportunities. "Their products tend to be relatively lower compared to those of other nations," he said.

 - Xinhua

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