BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,6TH JAN,2022- President Uhuru Kenyatta now says that Kenya’s relationship with China is a partnership of friends working together to achieve economic growth.
Speaking after inspecting the newly built Kipevu Terminal in Mombasa, The Head of State said China is always there when Kenya needs partnerships for developments.
“It is not a partnership based on China telling us what we need. It is a partnership of friends working together to meet Kenya’s social-economic agenda. China has been that one friend who is always there when we ask for partnerships to help us achieve what we require. They walk with us hand in hand,” Kenyatta said.
He further pointed out that the projects that Kenya and China have partnered to execute have been greatly beneficial for Kenyans adding that the country has also saved billions through cost reduction.
“Today, millions and millions of Kenya have benefited through a reduction in travel from Nairobi to Mombasa. During COVID-19, many thousands of Kenyans were able to take advantage of the Standard Gauge Railway to travel and ensure that at least our hotels were not closed, and our people were kept in employment,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, China and Kenya signed six memorandums of understanding and agreements on trade, investments, digital innovation, green development, in an event overseen by China’s foreign minister Wang Yi and his Kenyan counterpart Raychelle Omamo.
The agreements were signed following bilateral talks between the two leaders.
During a joint press conference, CS Omamo said the agreements are fundamental to the development of Kenya saying that the talks were characterized by a mutual desire to develop both countries.
On the issue of agriculture, Omamo said China had donated 10,000 tonnes of rice to families affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
“We agreed to explore further cooperation in agricultural value addition, capacity building and trade facilitation for Kenya’s agricultural products,” the CS said.
In order to promote trade and reduce the trade deficit, the two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a working group that will address tariffs and non-tariff barriers between the two countries.
Both sides acknowledged the steady rise in bilateral trade and the huge potential to increase export trade volumes and value through addressing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to addressing the trade deficit that is now in favor of China,” the CS said.
China and Kenya also concluded and signed two protocols to facilitate bilateral trade especially on the issue of export of avocado and aquatic products to China