President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Beijing on Saturday (13/05/17) to attend a major summit on infrastructure and hold bilateral talks with Chinese leaders on trade and development, according to State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu.
President uhuru is among 28 world leaders invited to the development summit whose theme is “strengthening international cooperation and co-building the ‘belt and road’ for win-win development.”
The only other African leader attending the summit is Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
It was to Beijing that President Kenyatta made his first State visit out of Africa after taking office. The visit resulted in financing for the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi, which has been completed on budget and 18 months ahead of schedule — with more than 30,000 jobs.
China has also partnered with Kenya over the years in the delivery and upgrading of major roads including the Nairobi northern, southern and eastern bypasses.
“The President is delighted to be here to continue with the task of seeking to expand Kenya’s infrastructure, including roads and rail links. These are important cogs in building the environment that creates jobs needed by Kenya’s youth,” Mr Esipisu indicated.
“He comes from London where he had a most successful visit; with the UK government and investors committed to deepening partnerships and ploughing new money into Kenya projects,” Mr Esipisu added.
Uhuru met U.K. Prime Minister Teresa May on Thursday and sought a deal to guarantee Kenyan exports accessed the U.K. market on a duty-free quota-free basis after the country exits from the European Union.
The move by the government comes at a time of impasse in the East African Community (EAC) over a joint trade agreement with the European Union following the Brexit decision.
The President’s agenda was about ensuring a conducive environment so businesses can thrive in order to provide much-needed jobs, and deepen security in Kenya and the region in order to foster growth and inclusive prosperity.