Kandie woos more Chinese investors to Kenya

Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie. Stakeholders in the tourism sector in sub-Saharan Africa are scheduled to meet in Ethiopia at the end of the month to review recent developments in the industry and chart the way forward. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Some of the sectors in which Kenya seeks investors are manufacturing, value addition in agro products, energy and tourism.
  • Ms Kandie said special economic zones were being established in the 47 counties to attract direct foreign investment.
  • Kenya is seeking more investment from China because it is a big economy and a small percentage of its citizens could lift Kenya’s tourism.
  • Dr Joyce Laboso thanked the Chinese Government and Chinese Companies for having faith in Kenya and investing heavily in Kenya’s economy.

Kenya is seeking and ready for Chinese investors, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie has said.

Ms Kandie cited manufacturing, value addition in agro products, energy and tourism as sectors that Kenya wanted investors to put their money in.

The minister was addressing participants at the China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Fujian Province.

She said Kenya was particularly keen on transfer of knowledge and technology and value addition to agricultural and livestock products.

The country’s 47 counties, Ms Kandie said, were centres for development and special economic zones were being established in the regions to attract direct foreign investment.

SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES

“Kenya is the gateway to East Africa’s market of 140 million people and Comesa’s 400 million and is an ideal home for investment,” she told the fair.

China’s Deputy Prime Minister in charge of state counsel, Wang Yang, said the China International Fair had grown into a grand meeting where the global business elite discussed how innovation and special economic zones could be used to create economic growth for the world.

“Since China started its first economic zone in Fijuan 30 years ago, it has attracted $1.5 trillion in foreign direct investment and by last year, we were able to invest $100 billion outside China and are seeking to invest another $500 billion across the world.

"We started with one economic zone and now have 267,” Mr Wang said.

Ms Kandie was accompanied by National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso and several MPs.

KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY

Ms Kandie said Kenya was particularly keen on transfer of knowledge and technology and value addition to Kenya’s agricultural and livestock products

Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng told the over 2,000 delegates in attendance that special economic zones have become a major vehicle for attracting direct foreign investment and that China’s next policy is to move to market driven growth more than government driven and hardware to software in terms to boost industrial competitiveness.

Alfred Sambu, the MP for Webuye and a member of the parliamentary Committee on Finance Planning and Trade, said Kenya was seeking more investment from China because China was a big economy and a small percentage of its citizens could lift Kenya’s tourism.

Irshad Sumra, the MP for Embakasi, said Nairobi was ready for more chinese investment especially in housing and roads.

COUNTIES READY

Wanjiku Muia, the Women Representative for Nyandarua, said the counties are ready for investment and that she was particularly keen to see agro processing and manufacturing firms set up factories in Nyandarua, where potato farming is very productive.

Florence Kajuju, the county representative for Meru, said tourism can be a growth pillar in the counties because it happens in the counties through national parks and other attractions

“We are therefore looking for investors to build hotels and other tourist facilities in order to increase bed capacity in many regions across the country,” she said.

Konoin MP Sammy Koech said the Trade and Investment afforded Kenya an opportunity to showcase its products and to seek much needed investment that will create jobs.

On her part, Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso thanked the Chinese Government and Chinese companies for having faith in Kenya and investing heavily in Kenya’s economy.

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