Newly signed protocols between China and Kenya have paved the way for avocado and aquatic farmers in Kenya to export their produce to the Asian country in a move aimed at promoting bilateral trade and boosting export trade volumes.
The two protocols were among six other memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and agreements signed during Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s two-day visit to Kenya where he held bilateral talks with his Kenyan counterpart Raychelle Omamo and later issued a joint press conference.
The protocols provide specific phytosanitary and inspection quarantine, veterinary sanitary requirements that avocado and aquatic farmers must comply respectively with before exporting their produce to China.
Protocol on Inspection Quarantine and Veterinary Sanitary Requirements for Wild Fished Aquatic Products was signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China.
On the other hand, the Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for Export of Fresh Avocado Fruits from Kenya to China was signed between General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service of the Republic of Kenya.
Speaking during a joint conference, CS Omamo said the agreements are fundamental to the development of Kenya even as she emphasized the need to bridge the trade deficit which currently favors China, Kenya’s largest trading partner.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the value of exports to China in the third quarter of 2021 stood at Sh 3,996 billion while the value of imports from China stood at Sh 110,033.8 billion.
“We have concluded and signed two protocols to facilitate bilateral trade, particularly the export of avocados and aquatic products from Kenya to China, this is an important protocol that will accelerate access to markets of these two products,” Omamo said
CS Omamo noted that the two countries are also working towards reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers and boosting exports to China.
“We signed an MOU on the establishment of a working group that will look into issues of tariff and non-tariff barriers to Kenya-China trade and fast track increase in exports from Kenya to China.,” she added.
Collaboration in big data strategy, ICT, cyber, e-government was also featured during the bilateral talks with both countries agreeing to build capacity and technology transfer.
“In terms of digital innovation, we discussed collaboration in Big-data strategy, ICT hardware and software development, e-government and service delivery, cyber and information security and capacity building and technology transfer. We then signed an MOU on strengthening investment and cooperation in the digital economy,” a statement issued read in part.
Omamo assured that Kenya will continue to promote investments from Chinese enterprises in agro-processing, textile, leather processing, footwear, furniture, construction among other sectors.
“On green development, we agreed to pursue further discussions on collaboration in technology transfer in circular, green, and blue economies and the setting up of a center of excellence on low-carbon development and climate change adaptation,” the statement read in part.
On the issue of agriculture, Omamo said China had donated10,000 tonnes of rice to families affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
“We agreed to explore further cooperation in agricultural value addition, capacity building and trade facilitation for Kenya’s agricultural products,” the CS said.
Source: Capital FM Kenya.