Kenya’s relationship with China dates back to the 15th century but trade in recent years has seen unprecedented growth – China has become the second largest trade partner to Kenya and its No. 1 source for foreign direct investment, according to a report in AllAfrica.
Bi-lateral trade between the two countries has grown 30 percent annually in recent years and is now worth $2.84 billion, according to the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi.
Kenya’a main import partners are India, China, U.A.E., South Africa, Saudi Arabia, U.S. and Japan, according to TradingEconomics.com. Kenya’s main export partners are U.K., Netherlands, Uganda, Tanzania, U.S. and Pakistan. Kenya imports mostly machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics.
The China-Kenya relationship can be traced back to the 15th century when Chinese navigator Zheng He traveled to East Africa, AllAfrica reports.
Cultural exchange is also strong between the two countries. The Confucius Institutes in University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and Egerton University attract thousands of Kenyan students. Some study in China with scholarships from the Chinese government.
Kenya has become more popular with Chinese tourists, whose arrivals hit 40,000 in 2012.