Barclays Bank Kenya (BBK) has opened a Chinese Business Unit to tap into growing investment and opportunities to help boost trade between Kenya and China.


Speaking during the launch of Barclays Life Assurance Kenya in Nairobi on Thursday, BBK Managing Director Jeremy Awori said Chinese business investments in Kenya are a major growth driver to the East African nation, hence the need to tap into it.
“Sino-Kenyan trade has been growing in leaps and bounds, making China the largest foreign direct investment source for Kenya and the second largest trading partner,” Awori said. “We have already established a Chinese desk with two Mandarin-speakers to provide financial services to the Chinese clientele.”
He said the bank has already designed a number of offers to provide financial services to Chinese ventures.
Chinese nationals have been trooping to Kenya to do business and work on construction projects funded by the Chinese government, while Kenyan traders have been making trips to the Asian country to purchase Chinese merchandise.
Awori said the bank already has the RMB currency and trade settlement capability to enable both Kenyan and Chinese clients to deal directly in the yuan.
Barclays joins the National Bank of Kenya that has introduced a Chinese department to tap additional revenue from traders doing business with the world’s second largest economy.
Other banks have also tried to lure the Chinese, with Cooperative Bank of Kenya, for example, hiring Chinese-speaking liaison managers to help them break the language barriers.
According to China’s Customs authorities, the bilateral trade volume reached 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2011 and 2.8 billion dollars in 2012.
In 2014, bilateral trade between China and Kenya rose 53 percent to a record high of over 5 billion dollars. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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