Kalonzo tour secures Chinese business for Kenya

June 2, 2012
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Musyoka meets with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Beijing/XINHUA
BEIJING, Jun 2 – After an extensive tour and holding discussions with senior executives of key Chinese multinationals ranging from food production, engineering and construction, telecommunications, aviation and motor vehicle manufacturing, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has secured firm commitment of investments in various sectors of the country’s economy.

Musyoka arrives in the country on Sunday with a sense of accomplishment that major foreign direct investments will be flowing into the country from the Chinese economy in the coming months.

Take for example, Yurun Food International, food company which slaughters 45 million pigs a year and with an annual turnover of $20 billion intends to have joined ventures in Kenya to breed pigs, cattle and lamb for export to the Chinese market and elsewhere. Already pig farming is a driving business in Kenya.

Avic International on the other hand which is doing expansion of JKIA airport and has supplied Kenya’s armed forces in the past wants to enter the tourism market in Kenya by constructing a tourist hotels like it has done in Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.

Senior executives of Avic are expected in Kenya in three weeks time. They are coming to scout for land to construct their African headquarters, a hotel and conference facility.

Avic Vice President Liu Jun said his organization wants to enter the tourism market in Kenya by constructing tourists’ hotels as in Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.

Jiangsu International also posting revenues in access of $15 billion has promised to scale up its investments in Kenya in real estate and office blocks. This is the firm that constructed the school of monetary studies and several up market real estate projects.

On the other hand, Foton International, China’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, producing over a million units a year of heavy trucks and pickups is willing to scale up its investments in Kenya despite a recent tussle over a showroom facility on Mombasa road.

Most of the firms want to take advantage of devolution to invest in the new counties something they are already familiar with since most of today’s Chinese firms which have global reach started off as regional firms.

An example in this class is Huawei technologies whose headquarters is domiciled at Guangeong province and whose revenues last year crossed $32 billion to rank as the number two Telecommunication Company in the world after Sonny Erickson.

Huawei is a major supplier of technology and technical support for Safaricom and which did the first phase of Kenyans fibber optic roll out.

Last week, it got approval from China’s Export Import Bank (Exim) to undertake the second phase that will see major parts of the country receive better connectivity, a project of Ministry of Information and Communication.

Majority of the Chinese firms willing to invest in Kenya are now global players with projects and operations in Asia, North America, Africa and Europe

As the Vice President concluded his one week official tour of China, he urged Chinese and Kenyan investors to explore investment opportunities in the two countries.

Musyoka who toured Jiangsu and Beijing Provinces in China said Kenyan and Chinese investors should take advantage of the existing cordial relations to explore business opportunities in the two areas.

Speaking during a tour of Foton factory and Avic international company, Musyoka urged China to consider investing in the flagship project earmarked for development under LAPSSET project in Lamu.

He said the project is intended to revitalise the economies of regional countries such as Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Musyoka assured Chinese investors of Kenya’s commitment to working closely with china in all areas of mutual interest to the benefit of citizens of the two nations.

Among those areas the VP visited included largest infrastructure organizations including Najing Yorun holdings, China Wuyi Company, largest and renowned aviation company, minerals and commodities infrastructure among other areas.

Meanwhile, Musyoka urged Kenyan residents in China to promote and project their country’s image positively in the host nation.

He was addressing the Kenyan community at Kenya’s embassy in Beijing during celebrations to mark this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations on Friday.

The VP had also earlier addressed Kenyan students in Jiangsu province where he urged them to continue being good ambassadors of their motherland.

Musyoka said that he was pleased that the work ethics and professional conduct of the Kenyan community had endeared them to the host nation as well as promoted strong relations between Kenya and China.

He expressed confidence that the country would host peaceful, fair and democratic elections next year and urged Kenyans including those in the Diaspora to exercise their democratic right by voting leaders who are at forefront in uniting all Kenyans.

Expressing optimism that the Government of China would listen to Kenya’s concerns, Musyoka urged the few Kenyans who were experiencing problems in getting employment to remain patient and importantly to continue observing the laws of the host country.

He said that Higher Education Loans Board (HELP) should explore ways and means of ensuring that students in foreign land also benefited from bursaries.

”As we seek to sort out some of the problems facing you here, I wish to remind you, and other Kenyans in Diaspora, that you are our ambassadors in the countries where you live and work,” said Musyoka.

The Vice President underscored that the government recognizes and appreciates the contribution of Kenyans in China and the entire Diaspora in general in national development.

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