At State House in Nairobi this morning, on December 20, President William Ruto spoke with Dr. Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya.
Kenya expressed its commitment to advancing its mutually advantageous bilateral ties with China, increasing trade, and investigating potential areas of partnership between the two countries, according to State House.
“This partnership has allowed access to the Chinese market for our agricultural goods like flowers, frozen avocados, hides and skins, while China has played a vital role in the development of infrastructure in Kenya,” added Ruto.
Due in great part to the development of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project and the Standard Gauge Railway, bilateral trade between China and Kenya has increased since 2015.
The two nations’ combined trade value from 2015 to 2019 was $18.20 billion. Kenya imported 97 percent of this from China while exporting just 3 percent, resulting in a trade balance that is significantly in China’s favor.
With China having a population of over 1.4 billion, the head of state has expressed his intention to expand the markets for Kenyan goods, and it is known that Kenya sees a ready market for additional goods in China.
Only a few days had passed after the President’s return from the US-African Leaders Summit in Washington before the two met. In a tug-of-war for the title of the continent’s favored partner, the US and China are competing.