NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – A Chinese Ceramic Tile Factory has received Sh6 Billion funding from Standard Chartered Bank as part of the $20 billion Belt and Road initiative.
Standard Chartered Kenya Chief Executive Kariuki Ngari said the funding has enabled the tile factory to create over 3,000 job opportunities adding that East Africa no longer relies on imports for the ceramic tiles.
“This is a landmark private Chinese Investment in East Africa and with this local production facility, East Arica no longer rely on imports for the ceramic tiles, ” said Ngari.
The China-led investment and trade program has also seen Chinese utility firm Power China receive support from the bank for distribution liability and efficiency.
“This company provided the first of its kind in-country power transformer repairing and maintenance service in Kenya in early 2015, and subsequently extended into local transformer manufacturer in 2016. With the local manufacturing capability, Kenya is able to access local manufacturer warranty service of 5 years,” added Ngari.
The bank has now urged different private sectors to maximize on the opportunities in Africa within the Belt and Road initiative projects such as power, infrastructure, logistics, services, real estate development and related financing.
“This plan is meant for everyone and even private sectors are welcome to come and seek opportunities under the BRI. There is no bias over what Chinese or Kenyan businesses can receive,” said Standard Chartered Bank Kenya top executive.
Chinese Ambassador Wu Peng, who was represented at the event by Wang Xuezheng, counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi said the belt and road initiative will increase Kenya’s agricultural exports to China.
” The program will continue enhancing our bilateral cooperation in fields such as infrastructure, digital and smart cities and capacity building. We will now be able to see more of Kenya’s agricultural exports coming into China,” said the ambassador.
Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta in his visit to Beijing signed Belt and Road initiative expected to connect Asia, Europe, and African countries more closely.
With its main focus on infrastructure connectivity, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to enhance policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people to people connectivity among the participating countries.