Kenyan traders challenged to exploit opportunities in Chinese market

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Business people in Nairobi have been urged to capitalize on trade opportunities available in China through e-commerce, especially after the signing of the Memorandum of Understandings between Chinese and Kenyan authorities aimed at expanding the market for goods and services.

The appeal reverberated during the second Nairobi-China Trade & Investment Forum held in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi last week with the objective of discussing ways of bridging the trade imbalance between the two countries.

With the opening up and increased space, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry is encouraging local entrepreneurs to partner with their Chinese counterparts to promote the purchase of locally made goods.

“Our government has signed about six MoUs this year targeting and giving focus to various business sectors, agriculture, innovation, tourism, and hospitality among others,”

“We are trying to expose our business community to these new MoUs that have been signed and opportunities that we have in China,” said Opio

The event was graced by the chairman and president of Canton Chamber of Commerce China and high-ranking officials from the Diamond Trust Bank. Among other attendees were exporters, Chinese Canton members, and KNCCI members.

During the event, it was noted, that barriers faced by Kenyan exporters are often product-specific and market-specific. These relate to difficulties in meeting certain standards in certain markets and the lack of trade-related infrastructure.

“There are some new requirements that have come up from the Chinese government when it comes to our exporters. Some of our exporters have had challenges when it comes to exporting Macadamia nuts and other fresh produce because of the new requirements when it comes to registration. We are here to enlighten our members and work closely with our mother ministry the ministry of trade to highlight this issue.” The KNCCI Nairobi boss said

At the same time, Diamond Trust Bank Kenya has disclosed that business enterprises and individuals trading with China don’t have to use US Dollars as a currency. At DTB, the bank says, it is able to facilitate trade with China in Chinese currency, the RMB.

“We invite all business people in Kenya trading with China to bank with us and experience ease and convenience when sending or receiving RMB. Our China Desk is available to walk with you and facilitate your business with China.” He said

“DTB set up its China Desk last year out of recognition of the growing trade relations between Kenya and China. Through DTB, businesspeople can access letters of credit as well as advisory services regarding trading with China,” Mr. Gopa Kumar, Head of Business Development at DTB Africa said

Hosted in conjunction with Diamond Trust bank, the 2nd Nairobi-China Trade & Investment Forum, the theme being “Rebalancing Trade; Opportunities for Kenyan Companies.”

The meeting comes at a time online platforms are gaining popularity, especially after the onset of covid-19.