Asserting that Kenya is a “safe and lucrative” investment destination, its President Uhuru Kenyatta today exhorted Indian businesses to invest there and use the country as a launchpad to explore “enormous” African markets. Addressing a business gathering here, the Kenyan President said the country seeks to sign an agreement with the Indian government “confirming and securing a place for Kenyan pulses in the Indian market for a number of years”.
India yesterday announced a USD 100 million Line of Credit to Kenya for agricultural mechanisation after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Kenyan President, during which they also decided to deepen economic cooperation, identifying expansion of bilateral trade as a “priority”.
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Describing Kenya as a safe country and a very lucrative investment destination, Kenyatta said the two nations are working towards closer collaboration between the Bureau of Indian Standards and the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
“I believe this will eliminate a lot of problems that have existed in the past and also result in greater alignment between our two countries in terms of standardisation, conformity assessment, certification as well as testing.
“This would lead to considerably reducing some of the non-tariff barriers that are currently impeding trade between our two countries. I am confident that once this is done trade flows will see a significant boost”.
Stating that opportunity exists for those who are willing to take risk and a chance, Kenyatta said: “India is our second largest source of imports. The balance of trade is currently weighed heavily in India’s favour. I would encourage Indian investors to work and cooperate closely with their Kenyan counterparts, especially those in the private sector.”
He further said there is a lot of potential for Kenya to increase its exports to India and there also exists a greater potential for Indian companies to invest in Kenya to increase their exports also to the region of Eastern and Central Africa.
“The state visit by the Prime Minister (Modi) to Kenya last year has also given a lot of impetus. I want to encourage Indian companies to invest in Kenya, especially in the following fields — cotton, textile industry, agri business, fertiliser manufacturing, manufacture of medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, as well as our blue economy,” Kenyatta said.
He said the joint business council and joint technical committee would give impetus to bilateral trade relations and enhance cooperation in fields of bilateral investment, infrastructure development, SMEs, agriculture, health, energy as well as entrepreneurship.
“Kenya’s position in East and Central Africa is conducive for investors to use Kenya as a launchpad to penetrate the enormous markets of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. We are making further progress in widening this market which will ultimately provide a market of over 650 million people,” Kenyatta said.