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China, Kenya discuss strengthening business relations

By Liu Hongjie | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-29 14:37
Counselor Wang Xuezheng speaks at the opening ceremony of the symposium. [Photo by Liu Hongjie/chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese enterprises operating in Kenya must abide by laws while the Kenyan side should protect the Chinese companies and their staff members' legitimate rights and interests, said Wang Xuezheng, counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, at a symposium in Nairobi, Kenya's capital, on Tuesday.

The China Zhejiang-Kenya Trade and Investment Symposium was organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Zhejiang Committee, the Kenya Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives as well as the Kenya Investment Authority, with the aim of further promoting business and economic engagement between Zhejiang province and Kenya.

In his opening remarks, Wang said overseas Chinese enterprises are the spokespersons of China. The operational activity of the Chinese enterprises in Kenya is related to China's image and the friendship between the two countries. Therefore, all Chinese enterprises, including Zhejiang enterprises, should operate legally and comply with local laws and regulations, respect local customs and habits, protect the legal rights of local employees, fulfill corporate social responsibility, contribute to the local community's development, and try to be the messenger of the friendship between China and Kenya.

The diplomat also expressed his hope that the Kenya Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperation of Kenya, the Kenya Investment Authority and other government departments and agencies can continue to optimize the investment and business environment, formulate preferential investment policies, protect the Chinese enterprises and theirs staff members' legitimate rights and interests, support the Chinese enterprises development and expansion in Kenya, and created a better environment for China-Kenya economic and trade cooperation.

"The Chinese Embassy in Kenya will continue to play the role of a bridge in providing information consulting and rights protection services for the Chinese enterprises operating in Kenya," said Wang.

CCPIT Zhejiang Committee mobilized nearly 100 entrepreneurs from more than 50 large-scale enterprises in Zhejiang to attend the business-to-business meeting. As the team leader, Zhang Qingshan, vice-chairman of the CCPIT Zhejiang Committee, said that the economic and trade exchanges between Zhejiang and Kenya are fruitful.

According to Zhang, the bilateral trade volume reached $1.14 billion in 2017, an increase of 6.97 percent year-on-year, among which Zhejiang exported $1.14 billion to Kenya, a rise of 6.64 percent over 2016. Although Zhejiang imported goods worth $50,000 from Kenya, it marks an increase of 306.25 percent year–on-year.

Zhang said Zhejiang and Kenya are complementary in terms of the advantageous industries and there is great potential for future cooperation. By the end of June this year, Kenya has set up 21 enterprises in Zhejiang, with a total value of $8.25 million while Zhejiang has set up 11 enterprises in Kenya, with an amount of $9.635 million.

"I hope that under the framework of China-Africa cooperation, Zhejiang and Kenya can deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and achieve win-win development," said the vice-chairman.

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