Kenya's county enhances economic relations with Chinese investors

GMT 05:47 2015 Friday ,21 August

Arab Today, arab today Kenya's county enhances economic relations with Chinese investors

Nakuru town
Nakuru - XINHUA

Nakuru, the fourth largest town in Kenya, is increasingly becoming an attractive business destination for the Chinese investors.

Growing interest in the county, according to the local leaders, indicate the great economic potential yet to be fully explored in the area.

And so the Chinese collaboration with Nakuru government to enhance rate of development in the county viewed as the capital city of the Rift Valley is a welcome partnership.

Sectors of energy, hospitality, health and floriculture include those that the Chinese seek to invest in the county expanding employment opportunities and gross annual revenue.

Since January 2015, aggressive efforts have been made by the Nakuru county leadership to woo Chinese investors with the monetary capacity to establish economic initiatives within its boundaries.

The result of this being the visit of 13 Chinese delegates from Jiangsu Mingdao Entrepreneur College early August.

"We are looking at working together in making investments in energy, medicine and agriculture," said Nakuru Deputy Governor Joseph Ruto on Thursday.

Ruto said the rich competency of the delegates in the respective fields and wide network of experts would bolster the county's development if comprehensively utilized.

"They have the potential to make extensive investments in the county since they have the resources and a network of more than 10,000 investors," he said.

"We are ready to support the Chinese in their endevevors to invest in the county.Nakuru has a diversity of investment opportunities which both the public and private investors to explore," he said.

In 2013, Dongfang Electric Corporation pioneered in showing interest in Nakuru County with opening a solar firm with a capacity of generating 50 megawatts of electricity.

Consequent flow of the power into the national grid could greatly reduce the cost of electricity in the country whose manufacturing sector heavily depend on power generated from the expensive thermal fossils.

Kenya plans to reach a 5,000 megawatt capacity by 2017, with solar, wind and geothermal being among the sources whose enhancement is expected to bolster the units from the less than 2,000 megawatts currently generated.

Ruto said they are making all efforts to ensure that the Chinese firm finally sets up in the county to offer opportunities for social and economic growth among the locals.

"It is important that we follow all procedures involved so that when the investors set off the constructions, they will have been completely cleared by the existing authorities," said Richard Rop, the county executive officer for Natural Resources, Environment, Water and Energy.

Sufficient supply of cheap power according to the country's Ministry of Energy could lower the unit cost of electricity from current U.S 19 dollars to 7 dollars charged on kilowatt spent per hour.

Its plan involves constructing two-five star hotels with a conference capacity of 1,200 and 1,800, a development which would divert seminars with high participation to the county.

In the floriculture sector, Julong Group of Companies and Oriental Agricultural recently expressed plans to establish flower farms Naivasha, an area in Nakuru County producing more than 75 percent of the cut flowers exported from the country.

"With the Chinese in the flower sector, we will have a new dimension in the industry and perhaps learn some tips on how to boost of our productivity," said Kamau Njuguna, the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Nakuru County Chapter chairman.

According to Kamau, the Chinese would produce high quality flowers to be sold in China and Japan.

Since 2009, Kenya has received more Chinese investors than in the previous years. A report by the Federation of Kenya Employers shows that working visa applications grew by 93.1 percent from 1,075 in 2009 to 2,076 in 2013.

The Doing Responsible Business in Africa (2015), further notes that 386 firms owned by the Chinese had been registered in Kenya by the end of 2014.

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