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Chinese envoy to Kenya urges firms to focus on investments, not retail

Ambassador Wu Peng (centre), when he paid a courtesy call on Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (right) earlier this week On the left is a senior official from the embassy. Photo/COURTESY.

NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 19 – Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng has emphasized on the need for private sector representatives from his country to focus on investments and not retail business.

Ambassador Wu, who met the representatives of Chinese private sectors at the embassy in Nairobi, particularly reminded them on the need to focus on the investments they are registered to undertake on broad-scale corporations.

This follows recent cases of Chinese nationals found engaging in retail business in the popular Gikomba open air market, where seven of them were arrested and deported.

“Most Chinese business people in Kenya are investors or work for broad-scale corporations and wholesales,” the ambassador said, and reiterated the need for them to “respect and abide by the law of Kenya.”

The relationship between Kenya and China has flourished in recent years, with the massive investments and financial support for infrastructural development in various parts of the country.

In a recent article also published by Capital FM, Ambassador Wu described relations between the two countries as being “at its best time in history.”

“In recent years, President Xi Jinping and President Kenyatta have together upgraded China-Kenya relations into Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership,” he said.

He identifies the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), as one of the benchmarks of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Recent statistics show that over 2.71 million passengers have traveled with the SGR, with an average attendance rate of 99%. Around 4.04 million tons of goods have been transported through the railway, with economic indicators surpassing expectations.

Focus is now on the construction of the Mombasa Special Economic Zone and the Naivasha Industrial Park which, the ambassador said, will “certainly benefit Kenya’s industrialization.”

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