Kenya is in China represented by President Uhuru Kenyatta where leads a delegation of traders to the China International Import Expo (CIIE), during which a deal on horticultural exports will be signed.
On Sunday, President Kenyatta met with the President of China Xi Jinping in Shanghai, China.
“Our talks focused on promoting economic and trade exchange and cooperation between our two countries ahead of the inaugural China International Import Expo (CIIE),” said Uhuru.
“Access to the Chinese market will have a positive impact on the lives of common people and this will help counter any negative propaganda peddled by detractors of our strong Sino-African relations. As a nation we look forward to an open Chinese market for Kenya’s exports,” he added.
China International Import Expo opens Monday in the commercial hub of Shanghai Under the theme of “New Era, Shared Future” and to support the country’s “Made in China 2025”.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said Kenya is among five nations set to exhibit at the Import Expo that will run from November 5-10.
Among the agreements expected to be signed at the Expo is the Sanitary and Phytosanitary deal between Kenya and China that will open doors for over 40 percent of Kenya’s fresh produce including avocado, mangoes and cashew nuts into the expansive Chinese market.
The Agreement will also allow for the export of stevia, a sweetener largely grown in the Rift Valley, into the Chinese market.
Another expected outcome of the President’s visit to Shanghai will be the signing of an MOU for the establishment of a trade negotiation working group whose mandate will be to negotiate trade tariffs especially on Kenya’s tea and coffee exports to China as well as explore the additional market for the country’s cash crops.
However, discussions following Kenya’s decision to ban fish importation will be followed keenly.
Acting Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Li Xuhang has already indicated that the issues would not affect the existing partnerships with Kenya.
“Chinese Embassy has noticed that Kenya Fisheries Service issued a letter to some companies notifying that all import applications for tilapia fish will not be approved into the country with effect from 1st January 2019.
“We hope that the issue of fish import should be resolved in an amicable way. As a strategic partner of Kenya, China will not be engaged in a trade war with Kenya, or even associate the issue of fish import with other cooperative projects,” said the embassy in a statement.
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In September, China hosted the Seventh Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2018 as a platform for outlining the country’s agenda for engagement with Africa until 2021.