, CHENGDU, Oct 16 – The Chinese Government has extended to Kenya a grant of Sh600 million for infrastructure development in the country.
The Chinese government promised to provide more funding as soon as Kenya provides a list of priority projects.
"The Sh600 million is in addition to the Sh1.08 billion given to Kenya by his government for the reconstruction of Thika Road," Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jinbao said.
The pledge came on the first day of Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s official visit to China where he is wooing Chinese investors to Kenya.
Premier Odinga called for greater cooperation with China in trade and investment and asked Chinese investors to increase their trade and investment portfolio in Kenya.
"China has long ties with Kenya dating back to the struggle for independence and China’s route to industrialization is relevant to Kenya because the two countries have similar backgrounds," he said.
The Premier at the same time called for balance of trade which was currently in favour of China.
"In 2007, China exported goods and services worth $980 million while Kenya exported to China goods and services worth $38 million," he said.
The PM said: “We would wish to have more Kenyan tea, coffee, beef and flowers exported to China to increase the volume of Kenya’s exports to China.”
He said Chinese companies were free to compete for business in Kenya noting there was huge potential in infrastructure and industrial development in the country.
“Many landmark structures and buildings in Nairobi were put up by companies from this country. Our most modern sports stadium, Kasarani, for example was built by Sietco through your government’s aid,” Mr Odinga added.
Speaking when he held talks with Mr Odinga in Chengdu, Mr Jonbao further said China will give more scholarships to Kenyan students to pursue training in specialized fields in Chinese universities, especially in science and technology.