Kenya woos Chinese investors into industrial parks

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Kenya is keen to attract Chinese manufacturers to establish operations in the country’s industrial parks, special economic zones and export processing zones, a government official said.

Peter Mbae, head of the ministerial delivery unit at the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, told an investment forum in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi that the country will support foreign investors who can engage in the value addition of Kenya’s abundant raw materials, especially in the agricultural sector.

“We want Chinese investors to process goods for the domestic, regional as well as the African market,” Mbae said during the Kenya-China foreign direct investment roadmap meeting.

The meeting brought together Chinese and Kenyan investors with a view to identifying investment opportunities in the East African nation.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, China has become the country’s largest trading partner, foreign investor, and project contractor.

Mbae noted that Kenya is currently in the process of establishing industrial and aggregation parks across the country in order to accelerate industrialization.

“China has always been keen to assist Kenya to develop and expand its industrial base,” said Robert Sun, chairman, founder and president of the American-Chinese CEO Society, adding that Chinese manufacturers are attracted to Kenya because it has a relatively well-developed infrastructure and the skilled workforce needed to produce high-quality products.

Sun said Kenya is also a regional manufacturing hub because it has signed numerous preferential trade agreements across Africa and other continents.