Posted on :Thursday , 20th January 2022
The newly opened office will play a critical role in unblocking the trade challenges between the two countries, at this time when the movement of goods and people has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the Nairobi China Trade Investment Forum, KCCC Chairman Tim Chen, said that the Beijing office will focus on supporting businesses in two countries.
"The last two years has been challenging to both Chinese and Kenyan business community, due to Covid-19. Our business people haven't been able to import and export in large quantities, because of the pandemic restriction. This has led to delays of imports and exports widening the trade balance between Kenya and China. That's why as Kenya China Chamber of Commerce we have set up an office in Beijing to start facilitating the trade and identifying export opportunities for Kenyan companies," said Chen.
He added that the office will also address trade imbalance between Kenya and China, by identifying new business opportunities in agriculture.
Kenya exported goods worth USD34.8 million to China and imported goods worth USD3.29 billion. This is a huge disparity considering that Kenya has the potential to export more agricultural products.
"Our priority will be agricultural products such as coffee and tea. For instance, in 2019, China was the world's 9th largest importer of tea in dollar worth, equating to $187.3 million. Capturing just a small percentage of this would bring huge benefits for Kenya. And it's not just tea - China's coffee consumption has also expanded by an average annual rate of 16% over the past decade. And Kenya has a significant advantage in tea and coffee production. In 2016, Kenya accounted for 27% of global tea sales, and tea was Kenya's second biggest source of foreign exchange, whilst coffee was Kenya's third most important source of foreign exchange," explained Chen.
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nairobi Chapter Chairman, Julius Opio lauded the partnership and collaboration terming it revolutionary.
"This investment forum is a big opportunity, because trade and trade-related matters, as well as investment, are of great importance to both countries. This is an area that we are looking forward to strengthening, deepening, and indeed cementing," said Opio.
"You will agree with me that it is only by working together that we can achieve the desired outcomes for closer bilateral cooperation and strategic partnerships. We have definitely made good strides," he added.