Kenya's acting FM hails China's contributions to economic, social development

09:36, April 19, 2011      

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Kenya's acting minister of foreign affairs George Saitoti on Monday hailed China's contributions to the economic and social development in the largest economies in East Africa.

Saitoti made the remarks while replying questions from Xinhua at the Kenya's presidential country roundtables with business leaders during the 9th Africa Investment Forum held in Dar es Salaam under the theme of "Accelerating East African Investments and Acessing an African Market of a billion people".

"China made contributions in the area of infrastructure development in Kenya. The projects completed and the quality of work are preferred." said Saitoti.

On the bilateral trade, the Kenyan acting minister said the trade volume between the two countries is increasing with the balance of trade in favor of China, expecting to improve the trade balance in the future.

The value of trade between Kenya and China hit 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2010 and new areas of cooperation including manufacturing and tourism are also expected to be tapped to help Kenya balance the trading terms, according to a Chinese economic diplomat in Kenya.

On the current visit to Kenya by Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Saitoti said the visit indicates the extremely good and cordial relations between Kenya and China.

Another senior Kenya government official also highlighted the good cooperation in the cultural and media sector between the two countries.

Moreover, other Kenya government ministers participating the roundtable meeting stressed the importance of common investment and trade policy in East Africa to promote trade in the region, in Africa, as well as in the world, listing agriculture as one of the sectors which need investment.

They also noted that they are really encouraged about investment opportunities in Kenya and other regional countries.

In his closing remarks at the roundtable meeting, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki said this was a good opportunity to listen to questions and answers so that one can know the current situation, adding that "we are making progress."

Apart from Kibaki, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, East African Community (EAC) Chairman and President Pierre Nkurunzinza of Burundi and Rwanda's Prime Minister Bernard Makuza also attended the Africa Investment Forum 2011.

As an immediate follow-up to the World Economic Forum 2010- Africa, which was held in Dar es Salaam in May 2010, the Africa Investment Forum also attracted more than 900 businesspeople from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America. The forum is to be followed by an extraordinary EAC Summit on Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua
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