KENYA -Kenya has initiated a significant milestone as a 52-tonne shipment of its anchovies arrived in China, marking the beginning of a large-scale importation of the small East African fish by China.

According to Changsha Customs, a responsible body for overseeing the quarantine and clearance of the fish, the dried anchovies completed their journey across the ocean and the Yangtze River, finally reaching the city of Yueyang.

China’s venture into importing Kenyan anchovies commenced in June with a modest 315-kilogram batch transported by air to Hunan.

Kenyan authorities have welcomed this initiative, recognizing its potential to stimulate the local blue economy.

The substantial shipment of anchovies was purchased by Jinzai Food Group, a snack company headquartered in Hunan Province in China.

The group’s main aim is to transform these fish into a popular Hunan-flavored snack at their factory.

To streamline the process, the company has established a dedicated factory in Kenya for processing, drying, and packaging anchovies before they are sent to the Chinese market.

Meanwhile, Changsha Customs is actively working to implement China’s initiative to create a “green channel” for agricultural and food imports from Africa, with a focus on enhancing efficiency in customs clearance processes.

This proactive approach aims to facilitate smoother trade relations and minimize import delays.

Hunan Province stands out as one of the most dynamic provinces in terms of economic and trade partnerships with Africa, consistently leading in China-Africa cooperation efforts.

In the first seven months of this year alone, the province’s trade with Africa reached an impressive US$4.82 billion, marking an annual increase of 18 %.

This recent development represents a mutually beneficial situation for both China and Kenya.

China is gaining access to a new source of seafood, enriching its diverse culinary offerings, while Kenya is benefiting from increased economic activity, particularly in its blue economy sector.

This partnership exemplified the deepening ties between African nations and China, which have been steadily growing over the years.

Experts anticipate that as the demand for exotic and unique flavours continues to rise in China, products like Kenyan anchovies could establish a strong foothold in the market.

The successful importation of this seafood is just one of many steps in what appears to be a burgeoning trade relationship between China and Kenya.

As the regular importation of anchovies becomes a norm, both nations anticipates for a mutual economic growth and cooperation, contributing to stronger diplomatic ties on the global stage.

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