Business opportunities bring Chinese investment to Kenya

Business district of Nairobi, Kenya's capital.

As Kenya’s economy continues to expand, Chinese investors have arrived in Nairobi to meet Kenyan business owners to discuss investment opportunities in energy, trade, finance and agriculture sectors.

The Chinese delegation, led by Lu Pengqi, the Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and Chen Biao, the Deputy Mayor of Shenzhen Municipal Government, is comprised of entrepreneurs from various sectors such as manufacturing, IT and real estate.

Kenya and China have developed a robust trade and investment tie in recent years. As the first Special Economic Zone and one of the most innovative cities in China, Shenzhen is in a good position to cooperate with Kenya to a win-win goal, which will help both Kenya’s industralization process and Shenzhen’s aspiration for international capacity cooperation,” said Lu.

Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) Managing Director Moses Ikiara said the delegation is in Kenya to explore opportunities for investment and trade with Kenya in the main economic growth sectors like agriculture and to build business-to-business relations between the two countries.

We have given them information about investing in Kenya. We are now going to have three days of detailed interactions between businesses to let the Chinese companies learn more about Kenya. This will enable them to form views about the country,” he said.

Emmanuel Kalenzi, Representative of the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Field Office in Kenya, said the Chinese companies could consider investing in industrial parks as a step towards promoting private investment and trade between African countries and China.

Kalenzi said UNIDO has conducted a pilot study on the possibilities of promoting investment in private enterprise through the construction of the industrial parks in African countries.

Some Chinese companies, including the Guangdong New South Group Limited signed an agreement with the Kenyan government in May this year to build 1.9 billion U.S. dollars industrial park in Kenya’s western town of Eldoret, where the government hopes to build a Special Economic Zone.

The industrial park being financed by the Chinese company was signed at a ceremony witnessed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The agreement was signed as part of the Africa Economic Zones in Beijing, a firm which is now investing in Kenya and Zimbabwe.

China has billed its investments in Africa as part of its “going global” initiative with locally-based enterprises now finding niche markets abroad, including in Kenya.

Guo Ce, Counsellor of the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said Beijing’s decision to raise its relations with Kenya signaled the highest level of economic and political cooperation.

He said the decision by the Chinese government to upgrade its relations with Kenya to a comprehensive strategic partnership, the highest level of cooperation, showed the commitment at the highest level of government between Nairobi and Beijing to promote their diplomatic cooperation.