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NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Michael Qui (R), General Manager at Romer Environment Protection Ltd. China, shakes hands with Dahir Dubat after signing an agreement during the Kenya Industrial Capacity Cooperation Exposition in Nairobi, Nov. 14, 2018. The exposition with over 81 Chinese enterprises will provide a platform for large and medium size Chinese corporates, looking for new opportunities in Africa and in return provide African participants with an opportunity to network and form linkages. XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO

Kenya eyes more Chinese investments to boost industrial capacity

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya hopes more Chinese investors will come to the east African country to boost its industrial capacity, officials said on Wednesday.

Peter Munya, cabinet secretary in the ministry of trade, industry and cooperatives, told a trade forum in Nairobi that so far approximately 400 Chinese businesses are operating in the country with positive results for Kenya’s economy.

“We are actively pursuing Chinese investors who can benefit from the opportunities presented in the special economic zones and export processing zones to help Kenya expand its industrial base,” Munya said during the opening ceremony of the China-Kenya Industrial Capacity Cooperation Expo.

The four-day event has attracted 81 mega-enterprises from China to showcase the latest technologies in infrastructure, energy, machinery and equipment, agricultural processing as well as in transportation and logistics.

Munya said that Kenya’s manufacturing sector has averaged less than 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the past five years due to high production costs as well as competition from imported goods.

He said that manufacturing has been identified as one of the four pillars of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda due to its huge impact on job creation and foreign exchange earnings potential.

The country lacks the necessary capital to set up large-scale manufacturing plants that can produce globally competitive goods, he said.

“We are therefore keen to partner with foreign investors including the Chinese to help Kenya accelerate its industrialization process,” he said.

He noted that a number of Chinese investors have expressed interest in investing in the agro-processing, cement, steel, leather and textile sectors.

Munya said studies have indicated that countries which attract foreign direct investment achieve faster economic growth as compared to those with closed economies.

Guo Ce, economic and commercial counsellor at the embassy of China in Kenya, said that the China-Kenya Industrial Capacity Expo is set to provide a unique platform for both government and private sectors from the two countries to cooperate in the area of manufacturing.

Guo said that Chinese enterprises have come to participate in the expo where seminars and exchange activities will be undertaken for enterprises to showcase their accomplishments and exchange experiences.

The Chinese diplomat urged Kenyan enterprises to use the expo to generate business deals with Chinese enterprises.

He noted that as the Chinese market is opening wider and wider, more and more Kenya products will be exported to China with the support of upgraded manufacturing and agri-processing capacity.

“With our cooperation deepening, and Kenya attracting more Chinese investment, I also hope that Kenya will have its business environment improved, aiming to build itself not only as the perfect destination for tourists, but also as the friendly and attractive destination for foreign investment,” he said.

Organizer of the expo, China International Exhibition Center (CIEC), said that in December 2017, with the support from the governments and business organizations of both China and Kenya, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) held the first expo in Nairobi.

Wang Xiaoguang, head of exhibition delegation and vice president of CIEC, said that the expo has become a new platform for Sino-African economic and trade cooperation in the new era.

Wang said that in the future, CCPIT will make full use of the expo to deepen mutual benefit and cooperation as well as enhance the friendship between China and Kenya. 



Chinese firms seek trade and investment opportunities in Zimbabwe

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe on Wednesday held an investment forum for a visiting business delegation from China’s Anhui Province that is seeking trade and investment opportunities in the country.

Zimbabwean deputy minister of industry and commerce Raj Modi urged the Chinese firms to take advantage of Zimbabwe’s improving business environment to invest in various sectors of the country’s economy.

He said Zimbabwe was keen to partner with Chinese firms to build its industrial capacity to export processed goods so that it can achieve its vision of becoming a middle income economy by 2030.

“I invite investors from China to partner us in the development of special economic zones and in exploring investment opportunities in Zimbabwe. I believe that the interaction between our two business delegations will bring opportunities for our two countries to foster economic and trade cooperation in various fields,” Modi said while opening the investment forum.

Chinese Charge d’affaires in Zimbabwe Zhao Baogang said Zimbabwean government’s commitment to reform and opening up should encourage more Chinese companies to tap abundant investment opportunities in the southern African country.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is running on the mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business” as he seeks to woo foreign investment that is critical to the revival and growth of the economy.

Zhao said the Zimbabwean government’s zero tolerance to corruption would also help lure foreign investment.

“I hope entrepreneurs from China could tap the potential of the good polices being implemented by Zimbabwe to invest in the country,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s trade promotion body chief executive Allan Majuru said Zimbabwe needs Chinese investment to develop its capacity to produce high-quality and sustainable exports.

The business delegation is being led by Anhui Province deputy governor Zhou Xi’an, who has since voiced China’s willingness to help Zimbabwe establish an agricultural hub for value addition and beneficiation of its agricultural produce.

Meanwhile, the two sides signed Memoranda of Understanding on the construction of a dam and auto assembly plant in Zimbabwe by Anhui Shui’an Construction Group and JAC Auto, respectively.


Uganda steps up efforts to attract Chinese tourists

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Tourism officials in Uganda on Monday said they have stepped up efforts to attract more Chinese tourists to the east African country.

Daudi Migereko, chairperson Uganda Tourism Board, a government agency charged with the promotion of tourism, told Xinhua by telephone on Monday that the government is in the process of hiring an international public relations firm to market Uganda in China.

Migereko said they had chosen to put in more effort in marketing in China because it is one of the major sources of tourists in the world.

“The Chinese tour in big numbers and spend more time whenever they visit compared to tourists from other countries. The more time they spend, the more money our country will earn from them,” Migereko said.

He also said Uganda’s choice to focus on China was informed by the growing economy of the Asian country as well as its special interest in Africa.

“The Chinese have toured all the other continents in the world and now they have special interest in Africa. They come as tourists but also as investors. So we need to up our game and ensure that we market Uganda as special country within Africa where they can come and enjoy their holidays,” Migereko noted.

The public relations firm is expected to liaise with tour operators in China, airlines and other companies to promote Uganda’s tourism potential.

Migereko said already Uganda’s embassy in China and its consulate in Guangzhou are doing some work to market the country.

There are no readily available figures to show the number of Chinese tourists who visit Uganda.

Uganda also uses public relations firms to market the country in Europe and the United States.

The country earns about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars annually from tourism and expects the figure to double by 2020.


Uganda assures Chinese investors of security after series of attacks

ENTEBBE Uganda (Xinhua) -- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday announced new security measures to protect the Chinese business community that has faced a series of gang attacks.

While meeting the business community at State House Entebbe, 40 km south of the capital Kampala, Museveni said that military units will be deployed at Chinese industrial parks from where they can be called upon in case of an attack.

Museveni told the meeting, which was also attended by Chinese ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhuqiang and Uganda’s top security chiefs, that factories not in industrial parks will be guarded by police.

He said there should be a communication link between the Chinese factories and the police to enable quick reaction in case of an attack.

“I am not very worried about this crime, I know we shall solve it,” Museveni said.

He said since the operation will be military-led, laxity by any security officer would not be acceptable.

“All policemen, security guards will be treated as soldiers. Therefore the relaxed way will no longer be there,” Museveni said.

He said the new measures will complement those already in place like installing cameras in towns and major highways.

The military has also deployed troops in Kampala to fight crimes.

Museveni urged the investors not to be discouraged by the recent robberies, noting that there are a lot of business opportunities in Uganda.

The meeting was held only a day after Ambassador Zheng handed Museveni the petition by the business community calling for urgent action against the increased attacks that have left some of its members seriously injured.

Chinese investors have set up several industrial parks across the east African country. China is also financing major infrastructure projects such as the Karuma and Isimba hydropower plants, and the expansion of Entebbe International Airport, the country’s gateway to the rest of the world.


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