SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU MUIGAI KENYATTA C.G.H.

, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE KENYA-CHINA INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS FORUM IN BEIJING, CHINA, ON 20TH AUGUST 2013 Chairman, Captains of Industry from China and Kenya, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is my pleasure to join you today and share my thoughts on the exciting new prospects shared by China and Kenya in the areas of commerce and industry. First of all, may I express my deep appreciation for the hospitality that His Excellency the President of the People's Republic of China and his Government have graciously extended to me, and to my delegation. This delegation includes more than 65 of the leading business people from my country. I also extend warm greetings from the people of Kenya. The relationship between China and Kenya is not new. It was inaugurated by courageous and enterprising navigators who plied the Indian Ocean sea routes and landed along our coast. Kenya's quest for independence benefited from China's friendship and was strengthened by the establishment of formal bilateral diplomatic relations in 1963 when we attained independence. This year, we mark the Golden Anniversary of our independence, and of our dynamic partnership. China and Kenya straddle a geography that abounds with opportunity. The Indian Ocean Rim brings together countries having immense comparative advantages. China is a prodigiously endowed superpower. India is an emerging technological and industrial innovation phenomenon. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have vast energy reserves. The Ukraine produces fertiliser that is increasingly becoming precious as the world's economies strive to feed their peoples. Russia is a giant that is reaching for greater success in many sectors. We are at a space in the history of our world offering a golden chance for win-win interactions and accelerated development for our nations. Similarly, China is a leading member of the emerging markets grouping known as BRICS, which you are all familiar with. BRICS represents developing countries with similar challenges and tapping into the same opportunities. It presents new opportunities for both China and those of us in the Indian Ocean RIM to draw maximum value. Chairman, Distinguished businessmen and women, To exploit this opportunity, a strategy that combines bold vision, focus, integrity and dedication is required. It is my pleasure to announce to you that Kenya has such a strategy. My Government adopted the Kenya National Vision 2030 as our development blueprint.

It clearly and systematically identifies the needs, opportunities and plans to attain a newlyindustrialised, middle income status by 2030. Every national administration is a trustee of this Vision, solemnly bound to fully execute it in order to enhance the prosperity and happiness of its sovereign beneficiaries: the people of Kenya. The Jubilee Coalition, which I am privileged to lead, aligned its manifesto to Vision 2030 in, observance of my Government's commitment. To underpin the blueprint, the constitution has instituted a governance framework undergirded by national values and principles of governance which include equality, equity, integrity, social justice, transparency and accountability and democracy as well as a non-negotiable Bill of Rights protecting the rights to life, property and protection of the Law. These are values China shares. In other words, we as a nation, and Government, have laid sound plans to guarantee the success of our march to prosperity and international competitiveness. Because no resource is infinite, nor opportunity eternal, it is our manifest intention to be bold, urgent and relentless in the quest for development and economic success. We are not the first people to walk this road. To use the words of the Chinese President, China was able to transform from an old, backward economy to a New China with unprecedented bright prospects over a mere 30 years. It did so by embracing the heritage of discipline, tenacity, courage and integrity that has inspired China's spectacular and magnificent achievements throughout history. Yesterday, I toured the Great Wall of China, marvelled at the sacrifice, ambition and dedication expended in building it and remarked that it is an eternal monument to mankind's endurance. Chairman, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, In Kenya, we share common values and a vision of national progress. The philosophy behind our Vision 2030 resonates with your president's concept of the Chinese Dream of prosperity, national rejuvenation and happiness as the foundations of the people's future. My visit to China is all about deepening the historic partnership between our nations and peoples. It is about China and Kenya as well as China and Africa. Our context is stronger bilateral relationship and more robust business ties. I have come to China so that we can candidly explore opportunities of mutual benefit so that our countries, Governments, businesses and citizens can commence the work of sustaining and accelerating growth. We are open to Chinese investment in infrastructure. I am happy to announce that yesterday, the Chinese President and I witnessed the signing of several bilateral instruments to facilitate investments in various, large-scale infrastructure initiatives. They include energy generation and railway building. We also have a vision to promote tourism by attracting even 0.1 of the Chinese population to visit Kenya and enjoy its scenic beauty as well as

renowned wildlife. Earlier this month, I hosted several Chinese media organisations at our fabled Maasai Mara to witness the Eighth Natural Wonder if the World: the spectacular migration of wildebeest. This afforded a useful opportunity to enjoy a rare spectacle while discussing the realities in the context of making Kenya the manufacturing, trade and technology hub of Africa. Chairman, Distinguished businessmen and women, This morning I will meet executives from the China Development Bank, which is an important player in financing development in Africa. I am pleased to note that the Bank is keen to continue investing in our continent and look to investors both in China and Kenya taking advantage of the facilities it offers. It is clear that our business delegation from Kenya is looking to exchange ideas and agree deals with their counterparts from China. However, we also invite Chinese investors to look at the raft of government-led projects on the table, such as the important port, pipeline and road corridor linking Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia – known as LAPSSET; the technology city we are building at Konza, near Nairobi, energy and petroleum; and other opportunities made available by our new constitution, which created counties – devolved political and administrative units. My cabinet secretaries will be on hand to respond to any questions you might have about these projects, or indeed on the general business environment in Kenya. I want to salute the businessmen and women of Kenya for their achievements which have propelled them into national and regional leadership. You are our heroic partners in economic development and job creation. You are the practitioners of a unique form of patriotism. Similarly, I recognise the fact that Chinese entrepreneurs and investors have transformed not only their country, but also Eurasia and indeed, the whole world. Your stature is consistent with the magnitude of historic Chinese signature accomplishments at whose grandeur the world marvels. I encourage this Forum to sustain a dynamic characterised by innovative business synergy which continually improves competitiveness. This is the win-win dynamic that underpins our countries’ bilateral relations. It is the only way by which mutual interests are secured, and prosperity guaranteed. Chairman, Distinguished businessmen and women, Thank you and God Bless You.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful