18 August 2013

Kenya: President Kenyatta Arrives in China On First State Visit

Photo: Benedikt von Loebell/World Economic Forum
Uhuru Kenyatta, president of Kenya at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2013.

Beijing — President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Beijing on Sunday morning on his first State visit to China, which will focus on growing Kenya's business and investment with the East.

African ambassadors accredited to China greeted President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport. They told him Kenya's agenda of seeking transformational projects in infrastructure, technology, agribusiness and finance resonated with the continent.

Discussions this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other government officials, as well as the China business community will focus on investments mainly in infrastructure, energy, technology and protecting Kenya's wildlife.

President Kenyatta will also press for greater market access for Kenyan exports.

"We are looking at how we can implement infrastructure projects that will boost interconnectivity within Kenya and the region. Enabling faster movement of goods and services on our continent is a priority I share with African leaders," President Kenyatta told the African ambassadors.

He said a good infrastructure network will reduce the cost of doing business and attract investors to Africa, which is often cited by analysts as the globe's last frontier of economic growth.

President Kenyatta commended the envoys for their unity, which he said should be emulated in advancing Africa's agenda at the International level.

He said his visit would cement and deepen the strategic partnership between Kenya and China.

"China's importance to Africa cannot be underrated. China is our biggest partner in development," President Kenyatta said.

Speaking at the airport, Africa's Dean of Diplomatic Corps in China, Ambassador Nolana Ta Ama of Togo said President Kenyatta's visit will not only boost Kenya's but also Africa's relations with China.

President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta arrived from Moscow where they feted Kenya's athletic contingent to the world championships.

In Russia, President Kenyatta also held talks with senior government and business leaders on investment and expanding market for Kenya's tea, coffee and fresh produce such as flowers.

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