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Expo to link Kenyan industries with China firms

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Exhibition stands at a past expo in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

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Summary

  • The expo to be held between November 26 to 28 is set to help the local industrial enterprises, especially manufacturing of machinery and equipment, electrical and new energy, automobile and spare parts to grow their capacity by tapping into the experience of the Chinese companies.

The Kenya Investment Authority (KIE) have announced a three-day expo for manufacturers with the aim of linking the enterprises to the Chinese counterparts and increase business relations between the two countries.

The expo to be held between November 26 to 28 is set to help the local industrial enterprises, especially manufacturing of machinery and equipment, electrical and new energy, automobile and spare parts to grow their capacity by tapping into the experience of the Chinese companies.

“Manufacturing, which is one of the pillars seek to industrialise Kenya and it’s in this background that the Kenya International Industrial Expo plans to link local enterprises to Chinese counterparts,” said KIE managing director Dr Moses Ikiara.

“This will facilitate industrial knowledge exchange, which is beneficial to both countries.”

The expo comes at a time when the country is scaling up its manufacturing sector as it seeks to raise its contribution to GDP.

Manufacturing sector reduced by 3.9 percent in the quarter to June compared to an expansion of 4.0 percent in the same period of 2019.

This was evidenced by contraction in assembly of motor vehicle and manufacture of galvanised iron sheets, according to second quarter GDP report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

The drop, exacerbated by the pandemic, was however coupled with an increase in credit advance to the sector by 16.9 percent in the period compared to 8.6 per cent growth in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

“We must start thinking of measures of economic recovery post Covid-19 era and this expo presents an avenue for local enterprises to tap from Chinese enterprises’ industrial potential. We must also engage in joint ventures with our Chinese counterparts in order to balance the trade between Kenya and China. We can tap into the experience of Chinese enterprises to grow our local capacity,” he added.

Mr Ikiara said the government is in talks with Chinese companies to set up industries in Kenya’s industrial parks.

The expo will be based on the current global pandemic and the need to reshape economic strategies. It will feature a combination of virtual and physical expo.

“The Chinese exhibitors will have their local representatives being present at the exhibition stands at Sarit Expo Centre. This arrangement will enable visitors to physically see the exhibits and interact with the Chinese companies’ representatives as well as connect via Zoom virtual links for business deals negotiations,’’ said Gao Wei, MD, Afripeak Expo Kenya Ltd.