Fresh produce exporters from Kenya are looking forward to the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE), which takes place next week, hoping it will help grow the market for their goods.
Hosea Machuki, chief executive officer of the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya, said Wednesday that the Chinese government import expo will certainly meet the need of local exporters. Machuki told Xinhua ahead of the exhibition -which will start in Shanghai on November 5th- the expects the CIIE to be what Kenya needs to help lower the trade gap with China. "We need to change this, one way or the other, that is why we are happy with the expo," Machuki said.
According to the Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya, Kenya earned some US$1.2 billion in 2017 from fresh produce exports, a rise of 11 percent from 2016.
Of the income, flowers contributed about $820 million, up from $708 million in 2016, while fruits and vegetables earned $90 million and $20 million, respectively. Kenya sells its fresh produce mainly to Europe but industry players are keen on tapping into the Asian market.
"We expect to start selling herbs like basil, rosemary, chives, tarragon, mint, parsley, thyme and others that are being grown in Kenya to the Chinese market," said Machuki. He noted that Kenya currently exports flowers to China but the export business is facing technical barriers that have slowed it down.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will lead the Kenyan delegation that comprises of exporters, trade experts and exhibitors to the expo in Shanghai.