World / China-Africa

Chinese minister vows to boost trade cooperation with Kenya

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-10 15:27

NAIROBI - China stood ready to make joint efforts with Kenya to expand cooperation in investment, infrastructure, regional aviation and people's livelihood as well as environmental protection, Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said here Saturday.

"China and Kenya have a long history of economic and trade exchanges. Six hundred years ago, the great Chinese navigator Zheng He of the Ming Dynasty arrived in Kenya and traded China's pottery and silk for Kenyan wood and spices," said the minister.

"Six hundred years later, the trade cooperation between China and Kenya enjoys a strong momentum with remarkable achievements," said Gao.

Bilateral trade reached $3.27 billion in 2013, marking a new historic height.

With China becoming Kenya's second largest trading parter, more and more flowers, tea and frankincense were exported to China from the African country, said Gao, adding that Chinese products have also won favor and popularity in Kenya.

As for investment, China has been Kenya's leading source of foreign capital since 2011. Its direct investment in the African country increased by 52.5 percent to $120 million in 2013, said Gao.

In respect of contracted projects, Kenya has become China's major market in eastern Africa. By the end of 2013, Chinese companies had completed contracted projects worth 7.13 billion dollars in fields like highway, electricity and port, said the minister.

Gao's remarks came amid the ongoing visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Kenya, the last leg of his four-nation Africa tour and his first to the continent since he took office in March last year. Li also visited Ethiopia, Nigeria and and Angola in the past few days.

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