Remarks by Charge d'Affaires Li Xuhang At Launch of Upgraded Inland Container Depot(ICD)

Your Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya,

Honorable James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development,

Honorable Marsden Madoka, Chairman of Kenya Ports Authority,

Board Members of Kenya Railways,

Respected Mr. Chen Yun, Vice President of China Communications Construction Company,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon! It’s my great honor to join President Kenyatta to witness the Launch of Upgraded Inland Container Depot (ICD). First of all, on behalf of H.E. Ambassador Liu Xianfa and the Chinese Embassy, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations on the Launch of ICD and our appreciation to all parties from both China and Kenya, for the tremendous efforts and support to this project.

The launch of the Upgraded ICD and the full operation of the SGR commercial freight service mark another milestone in the advancement of the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). And it marks a big step towards Kenya’s economic take-off. The launch of ICD will greatly improve the clearance and logistics efficiency, enhance the capacity of container handling, lower the freight cost, strengthen the competitiveness of SGR and Mombasa Port, and further consolidate Kenya’s role as the logistics hub and economic powerhouse of East Africa.

The launch of ICD is also the new progress made in the fruitful cooperation between China and Kenya in the year of 2017. Actually 2017 has been the year of harvests for China-Kenya friendship and cooperation. In May President Kenyatta visited China for the Belt and Road Forum Summit and met with President Xi Jinping. The two heads of state agreed to upgrade the bilateral relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership, laying a solid foundation for our pragmatic cooperation, especially the flagship project of SGR.

In June, as one of the most important early outcomes of the Belt and Road Initiative and one of the examples of China-Kenya mutually beneficial cooperation, the SGR was successfully completed and launched. President Kenyatta and Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong, the special envoy of President Xi Jinping attended the launching ceremony. For 6 months, the SGR has been operated safely and stably with a passenger volume over 600 thousand, booming Kenya’s economy and facilitating the domestic travelling.

Ladies and gentlemen,

2017 will also be marked as the starting point of a new era for both China and Kenya. In October, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was convened in Beijing. It re-elected President Xi Jinping as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC, and launched the strategic vision, marking the start of a new era for China’s development. On October 28, H. E. President Kenyatta was officially sworn in for his second term. And President Kenyatta also revealed the magnificent plan for the next five years, especially the Big Four Action Plan, namely food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable health care for all, which meets the real needs of the Kenyan people and will guide Kenya to a new era of industrialization and modernization.

As China and Kenya are both ushering in new eras, our friendly and pragmatic cooperation will no doubt embrace a golden era. Determined to build a community with a shared future for mankind, China has actively advocated and made efforts to promote international cooperation, especially through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). I firmly believe that the Belt and Road Initiative highly agrees with Kenya’s endeavors to strengthen the Big Four Action Plan and realize Vision 2030, and provides prime opportunities for our bilateral cooperation. With our joint efforts, more tangible results will be harvested and truly benefit the people of both countries. In the new golden era, China will work closely with Kenya and win together with Kenya.

In closing, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation again to various ministries and departments including Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Kenya Railways, National Police Service, CRBC, and in particular the young team of Kenyan and Chinese professionals and workers for their commitments, professionalism, respect for law, and the sense of social responsibility.

Finally, I wish the Upgraded ICD a huge success and China-Kenya friendship and cooperation an even brighter future.

Thank you. Asante Sana.

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