Economy > Trade

African exporters eye upcoming Chinese import expo to expand business

2019-10-15 15:42

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NAIROBI, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- As the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) is less than a month away in Shanghai, expectations are high that the event will continue to stimulate Africa's exports growth.

Kenyan companies, which participated in the event last year, have been quite an example as to how the Chinese consumption market is helping Kenyan exporters expand their business, and why they want to continue utilizing the Chinese market to gain more export earnings.

Citing data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the East African nation's Business Daily reported earlier this month that China bought Kenyan goods worth a record 7.48 billion shillings (74 million U.S. dollars) in the first six months of the year, up 74 percent year on year, driven by farm produce exports.

Coffee, specialty tea, cut flowers and avocados are some of the farm produce which continue to gain market access to China, it reported.

The Economic and Commercial Counsellor's Office of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya revealed recently that more than a dozen Kenya-based companies, including those from the agriculture and food as well as tourism sectors, will participate in the second CIIE.

Cui Chaojie, general manager of Botanic Diamond in Kenya, is busy planning the firm's participation in the upcoming trade event. Cui wants to bring more original African products to Chinese consumers.

Cui said he had met many buying agents in the first edition of the CIIE last year. Relying on the steady buying channels acquired from the CIIE, Cui also opened a shop in Shenzhen and built a cross-border warehouse in Hong Kong last year.

Cui said that the sales volume of moringa products of his company doubled this year, among which the selenium-rich moringa tea is the most popular product.

George Kiondo, acting chief executive officer of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), told Xinhua that the expo helps KNCCI members to be exposed to opportunities in China.

"I can confidently say exhibitions are good for the economic and social growth of Kenya. Currently, Kenya is a net importer and to boost our manufacturing, we need such events for exposure. Through the event, Kenyans can learn aspects of manufacturing especially value addition and build capacity so that they can produce more," he said.

Sanny Ntayombya, head of communications and marketing at Rwanda Development Board also told Xinhua earlier that five Rwandan companies have already registered for the expo, and products to be exhibited are mainly coffee, pepper and handcraft.

"Having Rwandan companies participating in China, which has a huge market of over 1.3 billion people, is a golden opportunity to showcase Rwandan exports to the Chinese market. It's a market which we are looking at trading more with," Ntayombya said.

"The China International Import Expo is being dubbed by some experts as the newest approach in global trade," said Edward Kusewa, economics lecturer at St. Paul's University in Kenya, adding that the expo also demonstrates China's drive for greater openness.

"There will be a boost in the number of countries trading with China including Africa. The most striking trend in the direction of imports will be an increase in the number of countries whom China will buy from," Kusewa said.

According to China's commerce ministry, over 3,000 enterprises from about 150 countries and regions will participate in the second CIIE, which is scheduled to run on Nov.5-10.
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