World / Africa

China becomes Kenya's top source of imports

By Hou Liqiang in Nairobi, Kenya ( Updated: 2016-04-05 17:08

China has become the first country to cross the 300 billion Kenya Shillings ($2.96 billion)mark in exports to Kenya, overtaking India as Kenya's largest source of imports, reports Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, China's exports to Kenya jumped 29 percent to 320 billion Kenya Shillings last year, compared to 248 billion Kenya Shillings a year earlier.

China has a 67 billion Kenya Shillings lead in sales over India, said the report. The newspaper said the change is largely on account of imports for the Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway.

The imports, except for steel materials for the ongoing construction of the project, also include mobile phones and household goods, said the report.

The 472-kilometer railway is being constructed by China Road and Bridge Co and is expected to be completed in 2017.

The project will cost up to $3.8 billion, and the Import-Export Bank of China is offering 90 percent of the funding. The ambitious project is expected to boost economic growth in Kenya by 1.5 percent.

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