Source: China Daily Updated: 2013-8-20
An increasing number of Chinese companies are seeking business opportunities in Kenya, amid the African country's efforts to push ahead with industrialization.
Chinese investors are eyeing sectors such as property, tourism, hotel and infrastructure construction in east Africa's largest economy.
Yu Wu, director of investment and business development at Beijing Hasan International Investment Management Co Ltd, told China Daily that Chinese firms are showing great interest in the country, especially in sectors related to tourism.
"Investing in Africa, including Kenya, has great potential and we feel lucky that we're going there earlier and have found many business opportunities," said Yu at the Kenya-China Investment and Business Forum, held in Beijing on Tuesday.
According to Yu, his company has already developed four property projects in Angola and one in Ghana, and is now mulling new opportunities in Kenya.
"Real estate and hotel companies are the most optimistic in Kenya, and we have seen many successful instances of Chinese companies there," said Liu Jianguo, executive director of agriculture and real estate investments at the China-Africa Development Fund.
CAD Fund is China's largest equity investment fund focusing on African investment, which is backed by the China Development Bank.
Industry leaders in Kenya include China Jiangxi Corp for International Economic and Technical Cooperation, Jingu Group and Fujian Construction Engineering Group, which have already invested in property and infrastructure projects there and have accumulated lots of experience.
Fred Simiyu, managing director at the Kenyatta International Convention Center, said that there's strong demand for conference facilities in the country.
"The convention market is very hot in Kenya, but the country only has one convention center, the Kenyatta International Convention Center, so demand greatly exceeds supply," Simiyu said.
According to Simiyu, Kenya's tourism resources make it a good choice to hold conventions. Last year, 288 conventions, including 29 international ones were held in the country.
Besides Nairobi, the coastal cities of Mombasa and Kisumu are also perfect places to build convention facilities, he said.
Kenya's new President Uhuru Kenyatta also attended the forum on Tuesday, indicating the importance of the country's trade mission to China and the key role his government is playing in boosting bilateral trade between the two countries.
Kenyatta is on a state visit to China scheduled, running from Sunday to Friday.
The country signed deals worth $5 billion with China on Monday to build a railway line and an energy project.
Funds will be spent on energy projects and on a standard-gauge railway linking the port of Mombasa to the border town of Malaba.
The average annual growth of bilateral trade between the two countries has been 30 percent in recent years, and the value last year totaled $2.84 billion, according to data from the Embassy of China in Kenya.
By the end of June, China's direct investment in Kenya was at $474 million.
China is Kenya's second-largest trade partner.