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Commodities

Chinese suppliers go online for Kenya deals

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with Chinese
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with Chinese business people during an international trade fair in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenyan traders unable to fly to China to shop or replenish stocks can buy construction and hardware materials during the five-day Zhejiang Export Online Fair 2020 that started on Tuesday.

The event hosted by China's department of commerce of Zhejiang Province that runs till June 3 is being undertaken by the Xiandai Exhibition.

In a statement, Zhejiang confirmed that 200 enterprises from Zhejiang and Kenya are taking part in the online exhibition via video conference platform.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on economies and societies. In an attempt to minimize the impact of lack of production of construction and hardware supplies, the department of commerce of Zhejiang province has provided this unique online platform where all participants businesses have been authenticated," it said.

Participants visiting the online fair will access digital services such as cloud exhibitions, cloud promotion and cloud negotiation for the exhibitors, all support by the department.

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"All aspects and multiple dimensions will be displayed in the exhibits so that the overseas buyers can have a more intuitive understanding of the exhibits and relevant information and promote the online transaction between the supply and demand sides," it said.

Kenyan home developers, construction and hardware material dealers have in the past flown to China to attend exhibitions where products are sold at promotional prices.

Banks have also been organising annual trade pilgrimages for their SME customers who are funded to buy products from China for sale in their Kenyan stores.

The trade fairs have contributed to the trade imbalance where between January-November 2019 imports made amounted to Sh324.90 billion, or 20.3 percent of Sh1.6 trillion import bill.

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