By Xinhua writer Xu Zheng and Zhu
Shaobin NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Fridah
Mbaya is exhilarated by her trip to the ongoing China
International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. She can finally
bring Kenya’s unique coffee taste closer to Chinese consumers.
exposes my products to a wider market especially among Chinese,”
said Mbaya, chief executive officer of the enterprise Nyumbani
Coffee, adding that China’s large coffee-consuming market will
help Kenya diversify its coffee sales.
The expo has
attracted over 3,600 exhibitors from around the world. Over 200
are from more than 40 African countries presenting a wide range
of products including tea, coffee, wine, cocoa and seafood.
Mbaya’s words also
echo Kenya’s expectation to increase exports to China through
the expo, where nine Kenyan companies are promoting the
country’s agricultural products and tourist attractions, while
seeking to build cooperative partnerships in financial services
Hosea Machuki, chief
executive officer of Kenya-based Fresh Produce Exporters
Association, whose members are among the CIIE exhibitors, said
that China is one of the most promising markets for Kenyan
“China has a
population of over 1.3 billion. Kenya can tap into this market
for all kinds of fresh products including fruits, vegetables and
herbs,” he told Xinhua.
That idea is shared
by Namibian businessman Koos Blaauw who co-owns the
Namibia-based Tetelestai Mariculture company in the coastal town
of Walvis Bay, which has exported large quantities of live
oysters to China’s major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou
and Hong Kong.
Blaauw said his
focus at the expo is seeking more markets in Asia for his oyster
products along the supply-value chain.
“The expo created an
avenue for traders to arrange partnerships, for Chinese
companies to have investments in African countries and vice
versa, to further develop these countries through alliances to
be able to export,” Blaauw said.
exhibiting products and services, many African exporters are
also trying to explore the appetite of Chinese consumers.
“We hope this tour
will give us more insights in terms of how to penetrate the
market and also appreciate the taste and standards that the
Chinese are looking forward to if we want to tap that market,”
Zimbabwe’s Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said.
“We are also
encouraged by the remarks of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the
Beijing summit of FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation)
where he encouraged African countries to consider the Chinese
market as a viable market,” he added.
China has been
Africa’s largest trading partner for nine consecutive years,
with imports from Africa hitting 65.6 billion U.S. dollars in
the first eight months of 2018, up 33.4 percent year on year,
and exports to Africa up 10 percent to 68.5 billion dollars,
according to China’s General Administration of Customs.
pledge to lower tariffs and increase imports is welcomed by its
move to further open up its market, Omu Kakujaha-Matundu,
Namibian economic analyst and Dean of Economics at the
University of Namibia, said the event has broadened the concept
of preferential trade and widened market access for countries
“It is imperative to
note that while China is opening up, African countries need to
improve their ability to supply such a huge market,” Matundu
said, citing his country’s beef exports to China as an example.
director of the Abuja-based Center for China Studies said that
the CIIE is a historic opportunity for Africa to test its
stamina, creative ability and innovative acumen in value-added
products in the Chinese market and the global market at large.
“China is not just
offering investment, infrastructure, financial support ... it is
now offering its market,” the director said. “The most important
element in any meaningful development is the market.”
World Trade Organization Director of Information and External
Relations, told Xinhua via email that the expo highlights the
need for cooperation and partnership in international trade,
particularly for China and Africa.
(Xinhua reporters Wang Xiaopeng, Zhang Yuliang, Li Sibo and Wu
Changwei also contributed to the story)