NAIROBI, September 3 – Kenya will get an opportunity to showcase its products to approximately 70 million people at an expo in China within the next two years.
This follows the signing of a participation contract on Wednesday between the two countries.
This will enable Kenya to take part in the Shanghai Expo in 2010, which will be attended by people from 200 countries between May 1 and October 31.
The theme of the conference will be \’Better City, Better Life\’
Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said that through the fair, Kenya would get a chance to learn from the experiences of other countries in addressing the issues of slum upgrading and rural-urban migration.
He noted that the visit by President Mwai Kibaki to China in 2005 and the reciprocal trip by Chinese President Hu Jintao the following year was evidence of cordial relations between the two nations.
Uhuru said the fair would boost economic ties and help bridge the trade imbalance that favours China.
In 2007, the volume of trade between the two countries stood at about Sh45billion. At the time, Kenya exported goods worth Sh7.8 billion.
Uhuru said officials from his ministry would work closely with the Nairobi Metropolitan Development and the Local Government ministries to develop a Kenyan theme that will correspond with that of China.
The minister however refused to comment on measures the government was taking to curb the entry of counterfeit products from China such as dry battery cells, toys and electronics into the local market.
It is estimated that Kenya loses Sh3billion every month due to counterfeits but China has always maintained that it only exports quality products to Kenya.
The Shanghai Expo Commissioner General Hua Junduo pledged that his country would assist Kenya to set up a huge pavilion to exhibit products.
"Kenya has so much to offer, because the country not only has economic success but also special cultural values. Your pavilion during the expo will be more brilliant than previous ones," Hua said.
On Saturday, President Mwai Kibaki said the government would not allow Kenya to be used as a dumping ground for substandard goods and directed the Kenya Bureau of Standards to prosecute those importing sub-standard products.
An Anti-Counterfeit Bill, which is expected to help the country address the vice is pending before Parliament and is soon expected to be enacted into law.