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China tops Kenya's FDI sources: ambassador

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-17 11:24

NAIROBI - China has become Kenya's biggest FDI source with $474 million invested in the East African country, as a result of the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, according to Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan.

As both countries are bracing for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties, Uhuru Kenyatta, the fourth president of Kenya, is to begin his visit to China on Aug 18.

Speaking in an exclusive interview to Xinhua before President Kenyatta visits China, Liu said he regards highly the visit as a chance to further the China-Kenya ties.

The China-Kenya relations can be traced back to the 15th century, when Chinese navigator Zheng He travelled to East Africa.

When Kenya became independent in December 1963, China was among the first to establish diplomatic relations with the country.

Ambassador Liu hailed the past five decades of cooperation. "China and Kenya support each other in international affairs as the two countries have remained to be close brothers, reliable friends and faithful partners."

Both China and Kenya benefit from the cooperation. Statistics from the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi show that the bilateral trade has boomed in recent years with an annual surge of 30 percent to $2.84 billion. China has become the second largest trade partner to Kenya.

Liu sees cultural exchanges as a crucial booster of China-Kenya relations. The Confucius Institutes in University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and Egerton University attract thousands of Kenyan students, of whom many have opportunities to study in China with scholarships from the Chinese government.

Meanwhile, Kenya has become more and more popular with Chinese tourists, whose arrivals hit 40,000 in 2012.

"The China-Kenya relations could be a prototype for those between China and other developing countries," Liu said.

Looking forward to future development of bilateral ties, Liu said both countries have their respective dream of success. While the Chinese are pursuing their dream, the Kenyans boast the Vision 2030 in theirs. "The full China-Kenya cooperation will highly promote the realization of the dreams of both countries."

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