A man of a Chinese firm introduces products during the first China-Africa Industrial Capacity Cooperation Exposition in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 12, 2017. (Xinhua/Chen Cheng)
The inaugural China-Africa Industrial Capacity Cooperation Expo kicked off on Wednesday in Nairobi amid acknowledgement of the role of capital, expertise and technology from Beijing to fuel Africa's industrial progress.
Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Adan Mohamed opened the expo, where more than 50 Chinese firms are showcasing their products to potential local and regional clients.
Mohamed said in his opening remarks that Kenya was privileged to host the first China-Africa industrial expo that aims to deepen trade ties between the Asian giant and its partners in the world's second largest continent.
"Kenya is pleased and proud to be hosting this maiden edition of China-Africa Industrial Capacity Cooperation Exhibition," said Mohamed.
"This forum happening for the first time in Africa symbolizes the confidence that China has in the continent and more specifically Kenya and its desire to develop that partnership to a deeper and higher level," he added.
Senior Kenyan policymakers and staff from the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi joined executives from major Chinese firms to inaugurate the four-day expo aimed at showcasing investment opportunities in the region and across the continent.
Mohamed said Kenya has enacted progressive legislative and policy frameworks to attract foreign direct investments from China and other emerging economies.
"Kenya has actively promoted investment opportunities to the Chinese and is looking at increasing foreign direct investments from the country," Mohamed said.
He said Kenya is keen to court Chinese investors in its quest to transform key sectors of the economy like manufacturing, agro-processing, infrastructure and real estate.
The cabinet secretary said Beijing is ready to partner with African countries to modernize their industrial sector that is the bedrock of economic growth and job creation.
Li Xuhang, minister counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said investments in manufacturing sector will enable African countries to realize rapid economic growth.
Chinese firms participating in the Nairobi expo are drawn from diverse sectors of the economy and will be scouting for new business opportunities and local partnerships.
Kiprono Kittony, chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the country stood to gain from the first ever China-Africa industrial capacity cooperation expo.
"This is a timely opportunity for us to promote trade and investments with China for mutual benefits," Kittony said, adding that a level playing field is key to advancing bilateral trade between China and African countries.