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World’s largest silk producer to set up base in Kenya

World’s largest silk producer to set up base in KenyaThe world’s largest producer of silk, Guangdong Silk-Tex Group, has announced its plans to set up shop in Kenya.

Led by their Chairman Ke Huiqi, officials of the government-owned company met President Uhuru Kenyatta in Shanghai, China, on Sunday.

The company will not only setup a silk processing factory at the Export Processing Zone in Athi River, but it will also establish a silk farm.

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The Guangdong Silk-Tex Group will establish a cocoon farm on an estimated 8,237 acres of land with capacity to handle the entire silk value chain covering cocoon procurement, silk reeling, weaving and trading.


The venture is expected to create over 300,000 jobs for Kenyans.

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President Kenyatta also met officials of Cherami China-Africa Investment Management, a firm that plans to construct a cancer treatment centre in Kenya, in partnership with the University of Nairobi.

The proposed cancer treatment and referral centre, the largest such facility in Sub-Saharan Africa, will be built next to the University of Nairobi’s Dental School.

The joint venture will include exchange programmes with leading Chinese universities as well as capacity building for Kenyan cancer experts.


The partnership will also include other Kenyan universities besides exploring opportunities in agricultural value addition.

The Kenyan delegation to the meeting included University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi while officials of Cherami were led by its Director Chen Ruibing and CEO Wei Xiaolin.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma and her Transport counterpart James Macharia during a meeting with Chinese leaders in Shanghai, on November 4, 2018. PHOTO | PSCU

Earlier in the day, President Kenyatta and President Xi held bilateral talks at the Xijiao State Guest Hotel in Shanghai. The two leaders discussed how to strengthen trade and investment ties between Kenya and China.

President Kenyatta said the trade expo provides a platform for more win-win partnerships.


On his part, the Chinese leader said that China will take proactive measures to correct the trade imbalance between Kenya and China.

President Kenyatta also held talks with Chinese investors who are eyeing opportunities at the Lamu Port.

China is hosting the first ever import expo that is attended by participants from over 130 countries among them Kenyan horticultural farmers and traders.

China is using the Expo to showcase its willingness to open up its market to other countries.


President Kenyatta will use the opportunity presented by the expo explore additional markets for Kenya’s commodities, especially agricultural produce.

Tomorrow, President Kenyatta will deliver a keynote address at the official opening of the expo.

Cabinet Secretaries Peter Munya (Trade and Industry), James Macharia (Transport and Infrastructure), and Monica Juma (Foreign affairs) are part of the President’s delegation. Others are Principal Secretaries Chris Kiptoo and Betty Maina.

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