It is encouraging that Kenya’s exports to China have been growing steadily in recent months, reaching a growth rate of 74 percent between January and June this year.
This means Kenyan businesses, especially those in the agriculture sector, have found new markets for their products, and with time and given the large population of China, their exports can only grow in volume as well as earnings.
Be that as it may, there is much room for growth considering that Kenya still buys much more from Chinese firms and the balance of trade is still by far in favour of China. As such, both countries ought to do much more to reduce this gap and create more opportunities for Kenyan companies to export to China. This also means that local firms should be challenged to ramp up their industrial capacity so that they stop relying largely on unprocessed or semi-processed products like avocado, flowers, coffee and tea.
For Kenyan firms to have real impact on the economy and in jobs creation, they should expand their industrial capacity so that they can create the jobs that will in turn boost the value of their exports, not just to China but also to other countries like India where, unfortunately, Kenya has not done so well in the first six months of 2019.