Kenya and China on Wednesday held talks that could lead to the expansion of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as well as other airports across the country.
The expansion modalities were discussed during a meeting between Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen and Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Dr Zhou Pingjian in Nairobi.
Murkomen and Dr Pingjian also discussed new areas of potential collaboration between Kenya and China and infrastructure projects Kenya seeks to undertake to benefit the public.
In a statement sent to newsrooms by the ministry, among the key areas of partnership that the CS and ambassador focused on included efforts to uplift the aviation sector in Kenya.
Murkomen articulated Kenya’s pledge to continue with the partnership between the two countries in efforts that will see enhanced efficiency in the country’s infrastructural sector.
“As government, we consider China a close friend and a great partner owing to their active involvement in the transformation of Kenya's infrastructure landscape over the last 20 years resulting in the cheaper, faster and more efficient movement of people and goods between cities and towns,” the CS.
He added “We look forward to continued collaboration in infrastructure development and attracting more investment into the sector.”
Murkomen called for creation of a model that will see the transfer of skills, technology and knowledge to young Kenyans through joint working teams, scholarships, and training.
“Technology has become the centerpiece of modem infrastructural developments with Information Transportation Systems offering the much-needed solutions to traffic control and management,” Murkomen intimated.
He added: “As one of the powerhouses in the fields of science and technology, China can assist our youth to become competitive in the job market through scholarships and training that would accord them the technological know-how and the requisite skills necessary to become competitive in the global job market.”
They undertook to resolve the trade imbalance between Kenya and China by encouraging more Chinese businesses to invest in Kenya to boost export of finished products to China.
Murkomen said China currently exports to Kenya goods worth $720 million (an equivalent of Sh87.8 billion) and imports goods worth $42.4 million (an equivalent of Sh5.2 billion) from Kenya.
Kenya’s main imports from China include electric and electronic equipment, machinery, garments, organic materials, pharmaceutical products and footwear, while Kenya exports to China Titanium ore, Niobium, Tantalum, Vanadium, Zirconium Ore and avocados to China.