Trade Lobby Encouraging Chinese Investments in Africa
Kenya Chinese Chamber of Commerce (KCCC) is focused on promoting exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences between China and Kenya.
The business lobby, headquartered in Nairobi enhances Sino Africa relations, with special focus on private sector. Through the Chamber, many Chinese investors have been able to come into Kenya. “We help Chinese people on how to expand to African market, we have overcome cultural and language barriers and currently, several Chinese businesses are working with Kenyan people,” says Chairman Zhuo Wu.
KCCC exemplifies China’s Going Out’ policy devised at the turn of the century to encourage Chinese enterprises to acquire assets and expand business overseas. It has initiated China-Africa dialogue series, bringing together Africa and Chinese businesses to create understanding and build relationships.
The Chamber, which began as a reaction to numerous misunderstanding of Chinese business focuses on training Chinese businesses on Kenyan labour, immigration, taxation and other mandatory requirements. The Chamber also links Chinese entrepreneurs into African market and vice versa
For example last week, KCCC organized China Mango Festival in conjunction with Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance (KAAA) and Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), creating linkages between Chinese buyers and Kenyan farmers countywide.
To create globally competitive agenda, the Chamber operates on strong legal foundation, and works with related associations to exchange ideas. KCCC also participates in social responsibilities by donating food, water and medical supplies to areas affected by the drought and other calamities.
KNCCI Chairman Kiprono Kittony says KCCC has helped several Kenyan businesses to join the Chinese market. “Being a non-profit organization, Kenya Chinese Chamber of Commerce promotes more collective mutual business ethics,” says Mr Kittony.
In future, KCCC will launch online platform among other initiatives to bring Chinese citizens in Africa together. “We will ensure talented Chinese students and professionals got exposure to Africa in their formative years, what could that mean for future China-Africa policy. We will help Chinese enterprise to tell their stories in Africa,” says KCCC Secretary General Mr. He Qinwen.
The chamber enhances this cooperation by adding value in the areas of business development, trade and investments and entrepreneurship. It’s also a premium platform that promotes discourse in industry, academia and government exchanges. According to Mr.Zhou, China’s growing investment, especially in the area of infrastructure development has had positive effects in Africa and should be encouraged.
In the last decade, China’s investments in Africa have diversified from textiles, mechanics and agro-processing industries to mining, manufacturing and services. Chinese investors in Africa have also ventured into private companies, state-owned and self-employed enterprises which are either sole proprietorships or joint ventures.
Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance (KAAA) Chief Executive Lucy Muchoki says the partnership between China and Kenya has yielded many benefits over the years and the Chamber to utilize this partnership in its fullest in terms of potential market size and available business opportunities. “For African continent to prosper, African businesses need to build sustainable relationships, partnerships and improve access to existing opportunities through knowledge exchange,” she said
Mr Zhuo says the Chinese lobby also promotes professional networking between leading businesses in China-Africa space while providing value to the bottom-line. As China’s trade relations with Africa increases, there is growing demand for new generation of entrepreneurs and policy makers. KCCC helps African companies get a better understanding of their Chinese counterparts and be able to exploit business opportunities such as those identified in human resources management.
Submitted by: George Okore