Kenya trade to benefit further from relationship with China

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There is immense potential in the relationship between Kenya and China, as the latter aims to expand its investment in Africa.

“There’s a lot of potential. We have a lot of natural resources in the country which is what China needs to continue fuelling their growth. The benefits – the Chinese are very large in our construction sector here in Kenya, they’ve done a good job and I definitely expect that to continue,” Kuria Kamau, a research analyst at Kestrel Capital, told CNBC Africa on Tuesday.

In a meeting in Beijing between Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Xi Jinping, the president of China, the two countries signed deals worth five billion dollars.

The deals are with regards to constructing a standard gauge railway line linking the port of Mombasa to the town of Malaba as well as the funding of an energy project.

“This represents a very good opportunity in terms of opening up the interior for more goods to come out and also more goods from the port to come into mostly the inland markets like Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi,” said Kamau.

“Another one billion of the five billion US dollars was to go into energy investments. Kenya has the potential to produce sustainable and good quantities of oil and a lot of investment is required in this area.”

Trade will also be aided by President Kenyatta’s declaration that Kenya Airways would begin initiating direct flights to Beijing. This comes four months after the airline commenced daily for operations to Guangzhou.

“The trade between the countries is growing tremendously and Kenya Airways is definitely going to enjoy the benefits of this, both in terms of increased business travel between the two countries and the cargo between the two countries,” Kamau explained.

“We actually import quite a large amount from China and rightly so, especially in the construction industry and we expect this to continue going forward.”