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February 23, 2019

Uhuru to sign avocado deal in China next month

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to travel to China next month for the first Shanghai Import Expo. /COURTESY
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to travel to China next month for the first Shanghai Import Expo. /COURTESY

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to travel to China next month to sign a deal for exportation of avocados, mangoes and cashew nuts. 

Uhuru briefed the Cabinet on the intended deal during a meeting at State House on Thursday.

The President said he will lead a strong delegation of horticultural farmers and traders to China for the first Shanghai Import Expo. A number of trade deals will be negotiated and sealed, he said.

Among them is the Sanitary and Phytosanitary deal between Kenya and China. This will open doors for the exportation of more than 40 per cent of Kenya’s fresh produce to the expansive Chinese market.

The Head of State said the agreement will also include exportation of stevia - a sweetener grown in the Rift Valley.

During the Shanghai visit, the President is also expected to sign an MoU for the establishment of a trade negotiation working group. It will be mandated to negotiate trade tariffs especially on Kenya’s tea and coffee exports to China.

On Tuesday, Uhuru banned Chinese fish, saying it is killing the local market. He spoke at the Strathmore University during the 2018 SMEs conference.

"I have been told about the imported fish from China. It is not possible that we import Chinese fish when our local traders are here," he said.

Read: Uhuru bans Chinese fish, says its killing local market

In August, Uhuru attended the China-Africa Forum for Cooperation (FOCAC) 2018 Summit.

He held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping focusing on trade, infrastructure, investments, education and technology.

The President witnessed the signing of an Economic and Investment Cooperation Agreement between China and Kenya.

Uhuru's delegation engaged in discussions on financing for Phase 2B of the Standard Gauge Railway from Naivasha to Kisumu.

The discussions also covered the financing for the Western Bypass in Nairobi.

The talks also centred on Kenya's shift from pure debt financing to embrace Private Public Partnerships.

China has remained the biggest lender to Kenyan economy with some quarters saying the loans might plunge the country into a debt trap.

See: Uhuru arrives in Beijing, to hold talks with Xi Jinping

Also Read: China offers $60bn to Africa, but says no to 'vanity' projects

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