Kenya is seeking preferential trade terms with China in order to reduce trade imbalance with the Asian nation, a government official said on Monday.

Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, told journalists in Nairobi that he has already held fruitful discussions with Chinese government officials on better trade terms.

“We want Kenyan firms to be able to access the huge Chinese market as part of plans to boost our export earnings,” Kiptoo said.

“We are seeking market access under terms that will not contravene the World Trade Organizations trading rules,” he said during a trade forum organized by the Export Promotion Council (EPC).

Kiptoo noted that Kenyan firms face challenges while trying to penetrate the Chinese market especially in the area of import duty as well as sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

“Our small firms are not sophisticated enough to be able to overcome the hurdles of international trade so we are asking the Chinese government to extend assistance to our local producers,” he added.

He noted that China is a very huge market due to its huge population as well as rising number of middle and high income people.

According to the senior official, there are already direct flights between two nations which make bilateral trade easier.

He said that the best way for Kenya to boost exports to China is to agree with Beijing authorities on certain products where Kenya has competitive advantage that can be specifically produced for the Chinese market. Enditem


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