•China is among the top ten traditional investors in the country.
•The real value added in the manufacturing sector grew by 6.9 per cent in 2021.
The government plans to boost the manufacturing sector and make the country a leading industrial hub in Africa.
It plans to tap China's diverse technology in manufacturing.
Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest)'s general manager for investment promotion and business development, Pius Rotich, says he believes Chinese technology will be vital in realising the country's industrialisation dream.
This, as Kenya remains keen on the fourth industrial revolution.
Speaking at the fifth Kenya International Industrial Expo in Nairobi, which ends today, Rotich said Kenya has the potential to lead the continent in industrial growth.
“China is ready to help increase the added-value and competitiveness of Kenyan products. The objective of the expo is set to provide a unique platform to fulfill this goal,” Rotich said.
This will also help boost the government’s ambition on providing trade and technological exchange opportunities between Kenya and the world.
The manufacturing sector's contribution to the GDP has been declining, from 9.3 per cent in 2016 to 7.2 per cent in 2021, Economic Survey shows.
Manufacturing was among the former government's Big Four Agenda, alongside food security, universal health, and affordable housing.
22 Kenyan companies dealing in tea, coffee, avocados and flowers are taking part at this year's expo, which gives them an opportunity to seal deals with Chinese partners.
China has in recent years made inroads into the Kenyan market away from the infrastructure space.
There are about 323 projects by investors from China worth Sh157 billion, KenIvest notes, creating about 30,000 jobs for locals.
China is also among the top ten investors in the country with about 400 companies in operation.
“The investors themselves also serve as Kenya’s ambassadors to other countries as they also seek more partnerships,” he noted.
Afripeak Expo Kenya managing director Gao Wei said there is a need to link local enterprises to better technology as a way of enhancing their productivity.
He said that they are in full support of the new administration's 'Bottom-Up' economic model, that aims at uplifting the Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) to reach their full potential.
“We pledge to support the current government’s economic model which offers a platform for both local and international business communities to share technological advancements, and boost local production capability,” Wei said.
The expo is coming at a time when the government is putting in place measures to support businesses in post-Covid recovery.