Last week Barclays Bank held an early Chinese New year event at the Zen Garden. This was to welcome the Chinese Community in Kenya and to foster mutual relationships in the country. The bank has identified Chinese business investors as a key investment banking growth driver this year for both growing investments and opportunities for trade.
Barclays Bank and Bank of China have already established a Chinese Business Unit.
Barclays Bank’s Managing Director, Jeremy Awori said “The increase in China’s economic involvement in Africa is arguably the most momentous development on the continent today. China has become a major destination for a range of African exports as well as an increasingly significant source of a wide range of manufactured goods imported by many African countries. To this end, Barclays Bank is positioning itself to enhance seamless foreign currency trade for customers.”
China is the largest foreign direct investment source for Kenya and the second largest trading partner after Uganda.
According to China’s Customs authorities, the bilateral trade volume reached $2.4 billion (Sh206.4 billion) in 2011 and $2.8 billion (Sh240.8 billion) in 2012. Last year, trade volumes rose to$3.27 billion (Sh281.2 billion), with the year-on-year growth rate of 15 per cent.
The Chinese New Year celebratory dinner held the 23rd of January, 2015 hosted the Chinese business community in Kenya as well as various corporate leaders and government dignitaries order to provide an avenue for interaction with its Chinese clientele and build the profile of the newly introduced China Business Desk.
The actual Chinese New Year takes place on February 19th when the Chinese will see off the year of the horse and usher in the year of the sheep/goat.