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Uhuru to lead delegation of farmers to China

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping during the 2018 summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. PHOTO/PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to travel to China next month to sign a deal for exportation of avocados, mangoes and cashew nuts.

During Thursday October 18 State House meeting Uhuru briefed the Cabinet on the intended deal with China.

The President said he will lead a strong delegation of horticultural farmers and traders to China for the first Shanghai Import Expo. A number of trade deals will be negotiated and sealed, he said.

Among the agreements expected to be signed at the Expo is the Sanitary and Phytosanitary deal between Kenya and China that will open doors for over 40 percent of Kenya’s fresh produce including avocado, mangoes and cashew nuts into the expansive Chinese market.

The Agreement will also allow for the export of stevia, a sweetener largely grown in the Rift Valley, into the Chinese market.

Another expected outcome of the President’s visit to Shanghai will be the signing of an MOU for the establishment of a trade negotiation working group whose mandate will be to negotiate trade tariffs especially on Kenya’s tea and coffee exports to China as well as explore additional market for the country’s cash crops.

During the Shanghai visit, the President is also expected to sign an MoU for the establishment of a trade negotiation working group. It will be mandated to negotiate trade tariffs especially on Kenya’s tea and coffee exports to China.

On Tuesday, Uhuru banned Chinese fish, saying it is killing the local market. He spoke at the Strathmore University during the 2018 SMEs conference.
“I have been told about the imported fish from China. It is not possible that we import Chinese fish when our local traders are here,” he said.

In August, Uhuru attended the China-Africa Forum for Cooperation (FOCAC) 2018 Summit.

He held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping focusing on trade, infrastructure, investments, education and technology.

The President witnessed the signing of an Economic and Investment Cooperation Agreement between China and Kenya.

Uhuru’s delegation engaged in discussions on financing for Phase 2B of the Standard Gauge Railway from Naivasha to Kisumu.

The discussions also covered the financing for the Western Bypass in Nairobi.

The talks also centred on Kenya’s shift from pure debt financing to embrace Private Public Partnerships.

China has remained the biggest lender to Kenyan economy with some quarters saying the loans might plunge the country into a debt trap.

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