NAIROBI, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong investors are seeking trade and investment opportunities in Kenya, the Chinese port city's officials said on Tuesday.
Daniel Lam, a regional director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council, told a trade forum in Nairobi that Kenya has enormous markets with buoyant growth, especially with the boost given by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Lam said delegates of ten Hong Kong enterprises were here to scout for trade and investment opportunities through joint ventures with local companies in banking, finance, manufacturing, real estate development, property development, construction, engineering services and project investment.
The delegation was keen to know more about Kenya's economic success underpinned by the BRI, in which the country plays a part "through key projects such as the ongoing modernization of the Mombasa port and the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway," said Lam.
The BRI aims to connect markets across several continents including Asia, Africa and Europe, furthering market integration and creating a regional economic cooperation framework that can benefit all.
Lam said it is clear that there is no better way for Kenya to capture relevant opportunities than through Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong is playing a pivotal role in the BRI, serving as a center for financing, investment, logistics, trading, infrastructure and a whole range of professional services," he added.
Lam said that Hong Kong is also one of the prime logistics hubs and an important gateway to regional markets, especially the Chinese mainland and those in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc.
He said that Kenya plays a similar role in the rapidly developing East Africa region, and has already built close business ties with Hong Kong.
In the first five months of 2019, exports from Hong Kong to Kenya grew by 120 percent to 10.6 billion shillings (103 million U.S. dollars), while bilateral trade rose by 68 percent, data from the Kenyan government showed.
Richard Ngatia, president of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the local business community is keen to partner with Hong Kong to help Kenya achieve its Big Four Agenda on universal healthcare, affordable housing, manufacturing and food security.
Ngatia said that Hong Kong, a financial hub in Asia, can provide expertise to Kenya to roll out sustainable finance solutions for boosting economic growth.