- Data by CBK shows the trade deficit between the two nations rose to $3.62 billion (Sh526.2 billion) in 2022 from $3.51 billion (Sh510.2 billion) in the prior year.
- This was the highest goods trade deficit betweefor over n the pair since $3.68 billion (Sh534.9 billion) in 2017.
Kenya and China state in conjunction with the China government has reiterated their synergy to deepen bilateral trade ties in a bid to make Kenya a preferential gateway to the African market.
This, through tapping into China’s two industrial provinces, Chongqing and Sichuan, leveraging on exhibition’s business-to- business and business-to-consumer interactions.
Building on previous relations of more than five decades, the move has also been backed to narrow the trade deficit between the two trading blocks that is currently in favour of the Asian country.
Data by the Central Bank of Kenya shows the trade deficit between the two nations rose to $3.62 billion (Sh526.2 billion) in 2022 from $3.51 billion (Sh510.2 billion) in the prior year.
“This was the highest goods trade deficit betweefor over n the pair since $3.68 billion (Sh534.9 billion) in 2017,” CBK says.
Speaking on Thursday, last week during the launch of the the Chongqing and Sichuan Export Commodity exhibition in Nairobi, the Deputy Director at the State Department for Investment and Promotion Irene Mumo said such trade platforms offer the countries an opportunity increase mutual cooperation areas.
“This include areas of manufacturing, trade, technology and other key sectors targeted under the bottom up economic model,” Mumo said.
The expo which ran for three days from August 31, was meant to showcase an array of industries, ranging from automobiles, agriculture, healthcare, textile and apparel, food processing, electronics, industrial machinery and housing.
It brought together 30 exhibitors, four from Kenya and 26 from China’s Chongqing and Sichuan who were keen on tapping into the new opportunities via trade engagements.
According to Zhang Yijun, Minister Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, the China-Kenya friendship and cooperation have bore results in the past and they seek to leverage on that to deepen the ties going into the future.
“China has become Kenya’s largest trading partner, the largest source of foreign direct investment and the largest project contractor,” Yijun said.
Kenya and China enjoy cordial and fraternal relations based on mutual trust and benefit for the last 60 years.Kenya and China enjoy cordial and fraternal relations based on mutual trust and benefit for the last 60 years.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, ushering in new opportunities to foster the Kenya China trade and investment cooperation has been among the priorities for growth.
Since then, Kenya has become an important partner of the Belt and Road Initiative and the gateway for Chinese enterprises to go into Africa.
In 2014, China overtook India to become Kenya's top source of imported goods, which has since been instrumental in the supply of raw materials for local industries, and finished goods widely traded by local small businesses.
It is a major source of goods and driver of business for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), where Kenya is estimated to have over 7.4 million MSMEs, employing approximately 14.9 million Kenyans in various sectors of the economy.
The SMEs constitute 98 per cent of all businesses in Kenya, which is East Africa’s biggest economy and create 30 per cent of jobs annually.
Major imports include industrial and construction machinery, commercial vehicles, fast-moving consumer goods such as electric material and electronics, and clothing items, among others, as China remains a major global manufacturer and supplier including Europe and the US.
Kenya is also a big market for electrical and electronic equipment, iron and steel, plastics, rubbers, furniture, lighting signs, prefabricated buildings, optical, medical apparatus, footwear, paper and paperboard and pharmaceutical products.