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            april 22, 2019

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President Xi 'to smooth over' Kenyan trade row over subsistence fishing


President Xi Jinping gave "a firm assurance" that China will correct a trade imbalance with Kenya during talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, reported Bloomberg.
Word came in a written statement from the office of the Kenyan president during Shanghai trade show where traders from 130 countries, including Kenyan horticultural farmers, showcased their produce.
President Kenyatta asked China to give African goods preferential access similar to trade deals with Europe and the US and to support the continent's producers.
Kenya said it would stop importing Chinese tilapia fish from January 1 because they undercut domestic production, reported Nairobi's Daily Nation, citing its Fisheries Service.
Tilapia is the common name for nearly a hundred species, and are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. They have major importance in artisanal, or subsistence, fishing in Africa.
The import ban amounts to a "trade war" and China may respond in a manner similar to its reaction when US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, the newspaper quoted Chinese Ambassador Li Xin as saying.
China is Kenya's biggest trading partner, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The East African nation's exports to China amounted to US$167 million, while imports were $3.78 billion. China accounted for 17.2 per cent of Kenya's trade with the world, the Kenyan president's office said.

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