Kenyan firms seek Chinese technologies to boost manufacturing

Kenyan firms are betting on transfer of advance technologies used in manufacturing to increase production capacity and meet international standards at the 5th Kenya International Industrial Expo (KIIE) underway in Nairobi Kenya.

The expo which commenced Thursday has already thousands of professionals and merchants from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and other countries who are pitching tent at the event which is majorly focusing on industrialization.

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President Richard Ngatia said the exhibition provides opportunities for business in Kenya to capitalize on trade deals and technological exchange between Kenya and the world.

“We are using this expo to create markets for our Avocado farmers here in Kenya but also markets for local manufactured products .we plan to Kenyans exporting Avocado in 2022. Kenya’s exports to China have grown by almost 9.3pc in the past five years even as the latter’s contracts. We anticipate the total exports to increase by the end of 2022,”-  said Ngatia.

Already 20 local enterprises participating in the expo have struck deals with their Chinese counterparts and this is expected to help trim trade imbalance that currently favours China.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicate that in a year to March, imports from China amounted to Ksh 446.7 billion while exports to the Asian economic giant stood at Ksh 21.5 billion over the same period.

“Positioning Kenya as a manufacturing hub for Africa is our main goal and we believe that Chinese technology will be vital in realizing this dream. China now is ready to help increase the added-value and competitiveness of Kenya Products and the objective of the expo is set to provide a unique platform to fulfil this goal,”

– said Pius Rotich, Kenya Investment Authority Team Leader of the Investment Promotion Department.

The exhibition portfolio includes General Machinery, Construction Machinery, Hardware and Tools, Solar and New Energy products, Auto Parts, Chemical Products Medical Equipment.

“We recognize and pledge to support the current government’s Bottom-Up Economic Model offering a platform for both local and international business communities to share technological advancements and boost local production capability to match the international standards through a partnership with stakeholders,”

– added Gao Wei, Managing Director, Afripeak Expo Kenya Limited.

Organizers of the event said the expo will also seeks partnerships in key areas fronted by the Kenya Kwanza administration which include agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) economy, housing and settlement, healthcare, digital superhighway and creative economy, environment and climate change.

“The expo provides a unique platform for both government and private sectors from the two countries to cooperate on Agriculture, Manufacturing, Healthcare and construction which are the key sectors of priority for the Kenya Government with great socio-economic impact to Kenya. This expo is coming in such a time when the government is working hard to revive businesses that had been affected by the pandemic and slowed down during electioneering period. This year, 22 Kenyan companies dealing in Tea, coffee, Avocados and flowers will exhibit and use this platform to look partners and new markets in China,”

– said Rotich.

The expo which is in its fifth edition has received more than 4,800 participants to date with sales amounting to Ksh 2.4 billion ($20 million). The expo was organized by Afripeak Kenya, KNCCI and KenInvest.

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