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Kenyan official praises elevating forum to summit

By HOU LIQIANG | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2015-09-29 05:38

Kenyan official praises elevating forum to summit

Chinese Ambassador Liu Xianfa (right) explains a picture to Justin Muturi, the speaker of Kenya's National Assembly. at a photo exhibition that was held at the same time as the reception for the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Hou Liqiang / China Daily

Elevating the Forum for China Africa Cooperation to summit level will give "an added impetus to steer the development cooperation agenda forward", the speaker of Kenya's National Assembly said on Monday.

Justin Muturi made the comment at a reception for the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, which was held by the Chinese embassy in Nairobi.

"As an old and trusted friend of Africa, China has over the years cultivated a strategic partnership with the continent, which today is the Forum for China Africa Cooperation. FOCAC continues to provide an ideal platform to identify and pursue shared interests," he said. "Kenya cherishes the milestone made in the history of China-Africa relations through this forum, which has grown in strength since its inception."

"I am aware that the Sixth FOCAC Ministerial Conference has been elevated to a summit level and that the summit will be held in Durban, South Africa, in December 2015," he said, "I strongly believe that the principles FOCAC set out will continue to provide long-term guidance for the growth of China Africa relations."

Muturi spoke highly of China's contribution to Kenya's economy development. "Chinese presence is being felt in various sectors of Kenya's economy. China’s support in diverse areas like infrastructure development, education, health, energy, agricultural and training has propelled significant development in Kenya," he said.

In 2014, bilateral trade volume of China and Kenya reached $5.09 billion, increasing by 53 percent. In the first half of 2015, trade volume reached $2.9 billion with a 65 percent year-on-year increase. China has become the second-largest source of tourists in Asia.

While applauding the achievement China and Kenya have made in mutual political trust, economic and trade cooperation, scientific and technological cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa said China and Kenya are now in a critical period of cooperation.

"Now we are in a critical period for promoting our friendship and cooperation as Kenya is speeding-up its process of industrialization and fulfillment of Vision 2030, while China is promoting economic restructuring and industrial upgrading. This year, Kenya has been listed among a few of African countries with which China will carry out industrial cooperation, and our cooperation presented a good start," Liu said.

He also said FOCAC "is bound to mark a milestone in the history of China-African relations". "President Xi Jinping will come together with leaders from Kenya and other African countries, to renew our friendship, to seek common development and to draw a new blueprint for China-African cooperation."

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