•The new office will also enable KNCCI to identify business opportunities, particularly in the export of meat and meat products, a sector that remains largely untapped.
•Kenya has been pushing for increased exports to China after last year Beijing granted access to its market for fresh avocados from East African state.
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry hoped the inclusion of small-scale traders in international trade would bridge the trade imbalance between Kenya and China.
The trade between the countries has been hugely in favour of China and the Chamber is now planning to open up the Chinese market for more Kenyan SMEs.
The deficit rose to $3.62 billion (Sh544.07 billion under the prevailing exchange rate) in 2022 from $3.51 billion (Sh523.2 billion) in the prior year, according to data collated by the Central Bank of Kenya.
KNCCI has opened an office, in Changsha, China, to promote collaboration, facilitate business partnerships, and display Kenyan products and services.
“KNCCI's expansion into China is a strategic move aimed at advancing economic cooperation between Kenya and one of the world's largest economies," said KNCCI president Erick Rutto.
He said since signing the agreement 100 days ago KNCCI has managed to support members and through the network exported goods worth $166,000 (sh25 million).
Rutto added that the new office would also enable KNCCI to identify business opportunities, particularly in the export of meat and meat products, a sector that remains largely untapped.
The Chamber said through the office, it would strive to grow Kenya's market share for fruits, tea, coffee, cut flowers and vegetables in China.
The country has been pushing for increased exports to China after Beijing granted access to its market for fresh avocados from Kenya last year.
Kenya's earnings from exports to China experienced slowed last year reached a new record of $233 million (Sh34.7billion).
This was in contrast to the previous year, where exports stood at $200 million (Sh29.80 billion).
KNCCI CEO Patrick Nyangweso plans to open more branches in Guangdong, Sharjah and Ghana.
China has remained Africa’s largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years.
In 2021, China extended a zero tariff treatment to 98 percent tax items for products to China, which promotes exports.
KNCCI China branch representative Fredrick Mukilya said the office would facilitate trade and investment, attract more investment, promote visibility and awareness of Kenyan products and also protect Kenyan businesses through arbitration.