China hints at willingness to restructure Kenya loans
The Chinese Government has hinted at willingness to discuss loan restructuring programme with Kenya, even as it affirmed continued cordial working with the new administration for both countries.
Chinese ambassador to Kenya, Zhou Pingjian yesterday said they work within the terms laid down, assuring that all his Government has been doing is to honour requests from all partners they work with.
The ambassador assured that his country is willing to listen, discuss and improve cooperation with Kenya as equal partners, affirming that implementation depends on the specific programmes but China has no reservations.
“From the Chinese, our stand has always been that the priorities of our partners should also be our priority for cooperation so we are willing to listen, discuss and improve co-operation as equal partners,” said Pingjian, in a press conference held at the Chinese embassy in Nairobi.
“Our partners make their own decisions on priorities and today our partners turn to potential partners for co-operation and we the Chinese may fit in some programmes so going forward the priority of our cooperation will be decided by two sides involved,” added the ambassador.
He said that China and Kenya enjoy profound traditional friendship and both countries are confident in the new leadership under Xi jinping and William Ruto respectively to boost partnerships.
“We have every confidence in the new leadership with new President Ruto and Xi Jinping for a comprehensive, strategic partnership getting stronger and stronger to mutually benefit both countries and its people. We are working very well with the Kenyan Government,” he explained.
At the same time, he said that the two countries will keep addressing trade imbalances and that more Chinese companies will also be encouraged to invest in Kenya.
“China is a willing partner of Kenya to boost new industrialization processes and we encourage more and more Chinese companies and investors to expand their business in Kenya, create jobs and export to China. We have the China international import export designed to encourage imports to China,” explained Pingjian.
“We have no problem in addressing the issues and China stands ready to work closer to facilitate more made in Kenya to the Chinese market. We need high quality products from Kenya,” he added.
He said China does pursue a trade surplus with Kenya hence the need to encourage the Chinese companies to import more from Kenya and other African countries.
“This is a process of marked operation and the Government will keep encouraging Kenya’s exports to China even this year. For instance, the fresh avocado after arriving in Shanghai became very popular with Chinese customers,” he explained.
The ambassador described this as a winner-buyer-winner-seller to meet the Chinese demands for high quality products.
“We understand there are concerns about the issues but we are working with our Kenya friends on two fronts to see the new government working hard for trade facilitation of more to China to clear the money issues and other small issues to make the process smoother,” explained the ambassador.
He also said that China has no reservations in sharing its technology with Africa, citing Egerton university which has been working with Chinese University for agriculture research.