Kenya, China sign 10 bilateral deals
AFP - April 22, 2011
NAIROBI — Kenya signed 10 bilateral agreements with China Thursday as the Asian giant increased its footprint in the resource-poor but market-rich and strategically located east African country.
"Kenya and China today moved to strengthen relations with the signing of 10 bilateral agreements on key projects in the country," the Kenyan presidency said in a statement.
Among the deals signed was a 95-million-dollar framework agreement for a 500-bed hospital that will be country's first fully-fledged university hospital, the statement said.
Projects to develop solar energy, provide anti-malaria equipment, build a hydropower station and other agreements on media and education were also inked.
"Today Kenya is the largest beneficiary of Chinese aid and concessional loans. We intend to deepen the relations further," senior Chinese Communist Party official Li Changchun said at the ceremony.
Kenyan-Chinese trade stood at around 1.3 billion dollars in 2009 with Kenyan exports to China almost negligeable.
With few natural resources to attract China's voracious energy industry, Kenya is nevertheless considered an important access market and a regional cornerstone.
The east African country has acquired new strategic significance for China through its proximity to the future state of Southern Sudan.
China imports 60 percent of Southern Sudan's oil and the inauguration of a new state, slated for July, could lead to the creation of a new pipeline which does not go through the north but instead cross Kenya to reach the sea.
According to official Chinese figures, China currently has 22 construction companies undertaking 52 separate projects in Kenya. ________________________________________________ You received this message as a subscriber on the list: firstname.lastname@example.org To be removed from the list, please visit: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2486/unsubscribe.jsp