Chinese premier Historical visit-multimillion dollar deals to be signed
Chinese premier Li Keqiang arrived in Nairobi on Friday night to begin a three-day official visit to Kenya in a tour that will culminate in a meeting with four East African Presidents later on Sunday.
Mr Li, who was accompanied by his wife Mrs Cheng Hong, jetted in shortly before nine together with a delegation of over 300 businessmen and senior State officials.
He was received at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by his host President Uhuru Kenyatta who was accompanied by several government officials.
Several multimillion dollar deals are expected to be signed by the two leaders between Saturday and Sunday during the tour that is also geared towards enhancing the China-Kenya bilateral relationship.
Mr Li’s visit is expected to focus on politics, economy, trade, infrastructure, science and technology as well as environmental protection. He kicked off his African tour on May 4 and has visited Ethiopia, Angola and Nigeria where he attended the 24th World Economic Forum in Abuja.
On Friday, Catham Properties – a top Chinese real estate investment company – launched the construction of an apartment block on Muringa road as part of their new real estate ventures in Kenya.
“We are also planning to set up ‘an African Dubai’ at Athi River which will be a centre for employment and a major business hub for the region in the coming days,” said Prof Guo Dong the Chief Executive Officer of Catham. The growing Chinese interest in Kenyan real estate sector was due to availability of market, he said.
The PM will hold talks with President Kenyatta on bilateral relations, international issues and regional matters. He is also scheduled to visit the National Youth Service among other institutions.
President Kenyatta visited China in August last year as an initial step towards cementing ties between the two countries.
According to the Chinese Embassy, Kenya’s exports to China stand at $50 million annually while the country’s imports from the Southeast Asian nation stand at $3.2 billion. Imports from China are mainly machinery, electronics, vehicles and spare parts, iron and steel, and plastic and rubber products, apparels and accessories, footwear and furniture.
Kenya’s exports to China include leather and skins, vegetable, textile fibre, copper and plastics, ores and concentrates, fish, tea and coffee.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa said China has become Kenya’s second largest trade partner as source of foreign direct investment.
“China-Kenya relations have maintained an all-round rapid development with stronger friendship, more frequent high level exchanges, deeper political mutual trust, practical cooperation and enlarged people-to-people exchanges,” said the ambassador.