Industry minister warns Chinese firms on fake goods

Adan Mohamed
The Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Secretary Adan Mohamed. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Secretary Adan Mohamed has warned Chinese firms against the importation of sub-standard goods into Kenya, which harm local consumers.

The ministry says it is investigating many complaints about unlicensed goods, mostly from China, the biggest exporter to Kenya since 2015. The value of Kenya’s imports from China last year was Sh390.6 billion, a 15.8 per cent increase from 2016.

“As we get a lot of goods coming to our country, we want to make sure that they comply with all the necessary quality standards,” said Mr Mohammed, while speaking at the opening of the fourth annual China Trade Week exhibition in Kenya.

The Industrialisation CS further warned Chinese firms against coming into the country under the guise of attending the exhibition and then using the opportunity to set up shops without seeking the necessary licences. This hampers business for small and medium-sized enterprises owned by Kenyans.

Earlier this month, Chinese exhibitors were arrested at KICC for displaying China-made electrical cables bearing East Africa Cables name and logo.

EA Cables said look-alike cables flooding the market were substandard and injured its brand. The company said it was losing billions of shillings in revenue from the fakes. In total, over 500 Chinese manufacturing companies will be looking to link up with local sourcing professionals at this year’s China Trade Week.

This represents a 25 per cent increase in subscriptions by Chinese companies from previous years, signalling further trading opportunities between Kenya and China.

Organisers said from previous trading exhibitions, 15 Chinese companies have opened shops in Kenya and five companies have invested in Kenya’s industrial and agricultural sectors.