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Uhuru discusses infrastructure, trade with official of China's NPC

Saturday April 13 2019

Uhuru Kenyatta with Cao Jianming

President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) with Cao Jianming, the Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, during their meeting at State House in Nairobi on April 13, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU 

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday discussed matters including trade and infrastructure development with the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China.

Mr Cao Jianming paid President Kenyatta a courtesy call at State House in Nairobi.

Their meeting focused on cementing bilateral ties between Kenya and China for the benefit of the people.

Regarding trade, the President told Mr Cao that Kenya's exports to China were less than China's to Kenya.

In response to this concern, Mr Cao assured that the relevant offices would ensure China imported more goods from Kenya.

BELT AND ROAD

On infrastructure, the President pointed out that the close partnership between Kenya and China had seen the implementation of key including the Standard Gauge Railway and several roads, thereby growing industries and creating jobs.

Regarding the ongoing construction of the railway from Naivasha to Kisumu and into the East African hinterland, he said the region would be opened up to more trade.

President Kenyatta added that the cooperation in infrastructure development was in line with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The BRI involves infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Latin America.

SOLID RELATIONS

President Kenyatta said the visit by the official of the NPC, the national legislature of the People’s Republic of China, affirmed the countries' solid relations.

He requested China to support Kenya's bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2021-2022 period in the elections to be held this year.

“We have shared values that make our relationship stronger by the day. We value China as a close development partner,” Mr Kenyatta said.

“The ultimate objective of our two countries is to see mutual benefit and prosperity for the people of Kenya and China."

CONTINUED SUPPORT

Mr Cao, who is also President Xi’s special envoy, reiterated China’s continued support for Kenya’s development initiatives, particularly the Big Four agenda on Universal Health Coverage, food security, affordable housing and manufacturing.

“We will continue to explore new ways of enhancing our cooperation even as we support the Big Four agenda that heralds great things for the people of Kenya,” the official said.

Mr Cao delivered a special message to President Kenyatta from President Xi and said his visit at the invitation of the Kenyan parliament elevated cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Principal Secretaries Macharia Kamau (Foreign Affairs), Esther Koimett (Transport) and Kamau Thugge (Treasury) also attended the meeting.