The China-Kenya Industrial Capacity Cooperation Forum that will take place next week in Nairobi will boost Kenya's manufacturing competitiveness, organizers said on Thursday.
Miao Ligang, an official with China International Exhibition Center Group Corporation told journalists in Nairobi that the four-day event which begins on Nov. 14 will provide an opportunity for Kenyan industrialists to learn the latest technology in manufacturing.
"Chinese firms are willing to partner with Kenyan colleagues to boost the competitiveness of Kenyan products," Ligang said.
So far, 81 enterprises from China have confirmed attendance in the second edition of the expo including 12 top Chinese corporations such as China Telecom, China Unicom and China National Nuclear Corporation.
The annual event is sponsored by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, China-Africa Development Fund in collaboration with Kenya's ministry of industry, trade and cooperatives, Kenya Investment Authority, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Kenya Private Sector Association.
Miao added that the event will be the first large-scale event to be held in Africa after the Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in September this year, and will be one of the platforms for China to build a new mechanism for economic and trade cooperation with Africa as well as implement the forum's economic and trade initiatives.
He said that the expo is set to provide a unique platform for both governmental and private sectors from the two countries to cooperate in infrastructure, energy, machinery and equipment, agricultural and communication technology as well as transportation and logistics.
Last year, the expo attracted about 3,500 visitors from Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique and six other countries who were looking for various business opportunities.
Miao noted that during the first expo, several business deals were concluded, with its amount hitting about two million U.S. dollars in the area of industrialization and infrastructure development.
He revealed that due to rising demand, the expo has increased exhibition space by 30 percent as compared to the previous year.
Guo Ce, economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said that the forum is an ideal platform to enhance Sino-Kenya bilateral cooperation in the field of trade and investments.
He urged Kenya companies to take advantage of the exhibition to enhance their industrial competitiveness.
Guo revealed that Chinese firms are eager to partner with local firms to produce goods for the domestic, regional and international markets.
Betty Maina, principal secretary in the ministry of industry, trade and cooperation, said that the sectors covered in the expo are within Kenya's Big Four transformational agenda and the expected investments and networks created will go a long way in assisting the country to achieve its development blueprint Vision 2030.
Maina said that the exhibition is timely because it comes after the Africa continental free trade area was signed thereby providing more opportunities for intra and inter-regional trade and investment.
She added that the government is supporting the expo because it will provide a platform for large and medium-sized local and Chinese corporates looking for new opportunities and partnerships across Africa.
The principal secretary said that the event will also enable Kenyan companies source products from China and export locally manufactured goods to China.