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Kenyan exhibitors optimistic Chinese import expo will boost trade

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Ecstatic Kenyan entrepreneurs, loaded with their goods and optimism, left Nairobi on Wednesday evening for China, where they will attend the China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first import-themed state-level expo in the world.

The event, which will be held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai, is expected to attract more than 3,000 companies, including over 200 enterprises that are leading in their industries from over 130 different countries and regions.

The Kenyan entrepreneurs have had a hectic time preparing for the expo by ensuring that they get the necessary documentation and certifications ready before leaving the country.
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"I visited the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis), the livestock department, Ministry of Health and was lastly referred to the customs department where I took my products ahead of travel," said Irene Mumo, proprietor of Trueways Enterprize Ltd, a honey processor.

Fridah Mbaya of Nyumbani Coffee, which is based in Nairobi, said she also did plenty of work to get things ready before departure.

"I had to get my products that I will exhibit ready. I deal with coffee, these are an array of products made from the beverage," she told Xinhua in an interview ahead of her departure.

She further prepared plenty of literacy materials that she would distribute to people at the event. The materials included explanations on how to make coffee, how to grow the crop and how it is prepared to have the best taste, among others.

"I was also seeking the necessary documentation to enable me take my products to China.

  Kenya exhibitors optimistic China 'Import Expo' will boost trade | Coastweek

SHANGHAI China (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has arrived at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, east China. President Kenyatta is here to attend the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) which runs from November 05 to 10. XINHUA PHOTO - FANG ZHE
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"We needed several documents that included the certificate of origin from the customs offices and health certificates from Kephis, among others.

"Getting these documents involved moving from one office to another to ensure everything goes right," she said.

With the tough preparations, the Kenyan entrepreneurs were optimistic of growing their businesses and getting new market in China.

"I am looking forward to a great exhibition and I expect to not only sell my products but also promote the country.

"This exhibition will expose my products to a wider market especially among the Chinese, who Kenya is building a strong bilateral relationship with," said Mbaya.

She was further hopeful that she would be able to get business partnership with traders and even individual customers from China.

Mbaya said that China has the potential to become a major coffee consuming country and the expo will help Kenya diversify its coffee exports from the traditional markets, including Europe.

Hosea Machuki, chief executive officer of Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), whose members are part of the exhibiting companies, said China is one of the most promising emerging markets for horticultural produce from Kenya.

"Kephis and the National Plant Protection Organization have been having technical consultations with a view to open the Chinese market for Kenyan Produce.

"We hope this will be finalized on time," he said, adding with a population of over 1.3 billion, Kenya can tap into this market for all kinds of fresh produce including fruits, vegetables and herbs.

"Once the consultations are finalized, we hope that we can start shipping directly to Beijing and other Chinese cities.

"Currently production area stands at about 14,000 hectares for avocado.

"With increased demand from the marketplace, we expect more acreage to be put under the crop.

"In 2017, we exported about 46,000 metric tonnes of the fruit to various destinations," he said.

According to Machuki, stevia, a sweetener grown in Kenya, is one of the other products that have great demand in China and the association expects members will also be exporting it to the Asian nation as well soon.

"We also expect to sell herbs like basil, rosemary, chives, tarragon, mint, parsley and thyme whose farming has been growing in Kenya," he said, adding Kenya also exports roses to China.

Kenya earned about 1.15 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 from fresh produce exports, a rise of 11 percent from 2016, according to the Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya.

The East African nation is banking on China to further grow these exports.

President Uhuru Kenyatta would lead the Kenyan delegation that comprises of exporters, trade experts and exhibitors to the expo.
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UPDATES:

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

SHANGHAI China (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will attend the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

Xi recalled the meeting between the two presidents during the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in September and the consensus reached, calling on both sides to push for new progress in deepening the comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership while implementing the outcome of the summit and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
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China and Kenya should maintain high-level exchanges, expand cooperation in all areas, and continue to support each other on issues involving respective core interests and major concerns, said Xi.

Xi welcomed Kenyatta to the import expo and said that China is ready to help increase the added value and competitiveness of Kenyan products and expand imports from Kenya.

On projects of railway construction, Xi said China is willing to work with the Kenyan side to conduct feasibility studies and hopes Kenya will provide a good business environment for Chinese companies operating there.

Xi said both sides should strengthen communication and coordination in regional and international affairs and jointly defend the multilateral system and order.

Kenyatta thanked China for hosting the expo, which he dubbed a major innovative move to open its market.

He also thanked China for making Africa an important direction in its opening-up.

  Kenya Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Monica Juma | Coastweek

SHANGHAI China (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi [right] meets with Kenya Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Monica Juma, in Shanghai, east China, November 4, 2018. XINHUA PHOTO - DING HAITAO
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He spoke highly of Xi’s proposal of the BRI and his efforts in promoting the FOCAC, calling them "China’s important contribution to world peace and common development."

Kenya is ready to work with China in safeguarding multilateralism and the free trade system and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, said Kenyatta.
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China bakes 40-trillion-dollar "big import cake"

SHANGHAI China (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that China’s imported goods and services are estimated to exceed 30 trillion U.S. dollars and 10 trillion U.S. dollars respectively in the next 15 years.

Xi made the remarks when delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, which has attracted a total of 172 countries, regions and international organizations from five continents to showcase their development achievements.

At the CIIE, the world’s first import-themed national-level expo, more than 3,600 companies from different countries are present, bringing more than 5,000 new products to over 400,000 purchasers from China and overseas.

Imported goods on the list of China’s "big cake" of imports include high-end products, such as numerically-controlled machine tools, intelligent terminals, precision medical equipment, advanced vehicles and civil aircraft.

Other imports are goods related to daily consumption, personal electronics, farm produce, food, wine, clothing, cosmetics and medicine.

Meanwhile, China is taking solid steps to advance opening-up in the service sector, expand financial opening-up and accelerate the opening-up process of sectors including telecommunications, education, medical treatment and culture.

As the world’s second-largest economy, China has a market of more than 1.3 billion consumers with land covering over 9.6 million square kilometers. China’s "big cake" of imports will "well serve their demand for upgraded consumption and the country’s aspiration for high-quality development," said Gan Chunhui, vice president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

In addition, the large scale of imports is China’s concrete action to promote an open world economy and support economic globalization, said Gan.

"All countries should be committed to opening-up and oppose protectionism and unilateralism with a clear-cut stance," Xi said at the CIIE opening ceremony.

During his meeting with representatives of foreign entrepreneurs at the CIIE, Xi said China has introduced a series of opening-up policies and will roll out more such policies, and hosting the CIIE is just one of them.

China will increase people’s incomes and spending power, foster new growth areas of medium-high-end consumption, continue to unleash the potential of the domestic market, foster a world-class business environment, explore new horizons of opening-up, and promote international cooperation at multilateral and bilateral levels, said Xi.

Simon Peter Lwanjo, CEO of Uganda-based Preg-Tech Communication Ltd., said China’s long list of imports offers opportunities for his company to attract potential business and partnership with China.

"I feel it is the right time for China to do this.

"We believe it is an opportunity for us to see how we can work together to show this common prosperity to all people of the world."

"The CIIE is a platform that goes beyond China," said Stephen Badger, chairman of the Board of Directors at U.S. company Mars Inc, adding that it is a truly global event driving globalization and trade liberalization.
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Ethiopian coffee producers and exporters eye vast Chinese market

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian coffee producers and exporters have expressed keen interest to penetrate the vast Chinese coffee market as the demand for coffee increased in China.

Amid the increasing demand for coffee among China’s young population, the interest to penetrate the emerging Chinese coffee market has also become a major priority among Ethiopian coffee producers and exporters.

Alfoz Plc - one of the leading Ethiopian companies engaged in specialty coffee harvesting, processing and export - is one among the many aspiring Ethiopian companies who are vying to boost their presence in China.

"Presently, middle eastern countries are the prime export destinations for our coffee market," Yohanis Addis, Alfoz Plc. Sales and Marketing Manager, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"As the interest from China for coffee in general and Ethiopian produced coffee in particular increased over the past few years, we are also looking for opportunities on how to better penetrate the market there in China," he said.

The company, which recently conducted a study concerning the potential of China’s coffee market, stressed that "there is a vast coffee market and we are currently looking for opportunities on how best we would enter into this huge market," Addis added.

According to Addis, the increase in the demand for coffee is attributed to the younger population’s shift from the traditional tea consumption trend to coffee, in which he said "Ethiopian coffee would be a major contender in the market if provided in good quality."

Addis also stressed that the timing of the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE), which is scheduled to be held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai, China, is "the perfect event for us to successfully interact with our Chinese counterparts as well as potential retailers."

"We believe the CIIE is an ideal opportunity for us to meet with potential Chinese counterparts who would collaborate with us in order to effectively penetrate in the vast Chinese market," he added.

Alfoz, which is set to dispatch a strong team headed by the company’s owner and manager, also revealed that it has finalized its preparations in order to make its CIIE participation a success.

China is already the east African country’s major export destination. Ethiopia, during the previous Ethiopian 2017-2018 fiscal year that ended on July 8, had exported 245 million U.S. dollars of goods to China, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade.

Wondimu Filate, Head of Public Relations and Communication Affairs Office at the ministry, told Xinhua recently that Ethiopia’s exports to China have steadily increased with the help of bilateral and multi-lateral ties as well as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
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Rwanda looks to tap into Chinese market through import expo

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda eyes China as a "very important" export market and expects to introduce Rwandan products to Chinese consumers through the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), CEO of Rwanda Development Board Clare Akamanzi said Wednesday.

"China is a very important export market we are looking at right now and the fact that we signed a partnership with Alibaba now confirms that China is a very important priority market for us today," Akamanzi said at a media briefing after the launching ceremony of Alibaba’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), which makes Rwanda the first African country that launches this platform.

The eWTP initiative was proposed by Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group, in 2016. It aims to promote public-private dialogue to foster a more effective and efficient policy and business environment to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in cross-border electronic trade.

The first thing that Rwanda has to achieve is to make sure that Chinese consumers know the central African country, she said, noting that Rwanda sees the CIIE as a platform where it can present Chinese consumers with Rwandan products.

"We are going to use all platforms possible including trade expos in China and other local platforms to promote Rwanda products to the Chinese market," she added.

The CIIE, China’s first-ever fair of this kind scheduled for Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, is China’s latest move to promote trade liberalization and further open up its market.
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South African businesses pin high hopes on Chinese import expo

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African businesses are keeping their eyes on the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10, hoping to grab trade deals.

As the maiden import expo held by China, the event is expected to strengthen business ties, open China’s market wider and garner support for free trade.

As the first import-themed state-level expo in the world, the CIIE will also include supply and demand matchmaking meetings and seminars designed to ensure that participants make the most of networking opportunities on offer.

More than 40 organizations will make up the South African delegation to the expo. As one of the 12 "Guest of Honor" countries for the event, South Africa has a dedicated national pavilion at the expo.

Sandile Ndlovu, Executive Director of the South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Export Council, said he would be representing his organization as part of the delegation from the South African Department of Trade and Industry at the expo.

"We are going to Shanghai to represent more than 89 of our members who are able to export a range of products (to China)," he told Xinhua in an interview.

"China could be one of our biggest customers as there is so much potential for trade with China," he said.

Ndlovu said his organization has already started interactions with Chinese counterparts on the possibility of the Chinese public and private sectors procuring goods from South Africa.

He said the council is also co-developing products with some of its members for the Chinese market.

The council groups businesses and entities that design and manufacture aircrafts and aircraft components, vessels and armored vehicles for both commercial and defence purposes.

"As South Africans we are capable of supplying products of high quality technology," Ndlovu added.

He said that the past recent years have seen a notable increase in exports from South Africa to China.

"I’m optimistic that further opportunities for trade and cooperation exist," Ndlovu said.

At the moment, the council has three members supplying the Chinese market but there are definitely more opportunities, he said.

"We have no doubt that if we get the platform to showcase our offerings, the Chinese market will receive us very warmly," Ndlovu said.

Ndlovu’s sense of optimism is shared by Reesh Naidoo, Public Relations and Business Development Director at AmstedReelin, which provides service and products to the mining, engineering, industrial and agricultural sectors.

The Shanghai expo will be an initial opportunity for AmstedReelin to approach the Chinese market and create awareness that the company is in Africa and fully capable and willing to supply products and services to both private and public sectors in China, Naidoo told Xinhua.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to learn and understand the business culture of another country," said Naidoo.

He expressed belief that participating in this expo will unlock potential for AmstedReelin to support Chinese companies as they enter the various African markets which they have shown a keen interest in.

"We attend the event in good faith," Naidoo stressed.

In 2007, the Reelin Group entered into a joint venture agreement with Amsted Rail Incorporated for the supply of rail road products.

Amsted Rail is the world’s leading rail road undercarriage component manufacturer in the world.

             

 

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