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Kenya inks key trade pact with United Arab Emirates

By Standard Reporter | Published Mon, November 24th 2014 at 00:00, Updated November 23rd 2014 at 23:09 GMT +3

Kenya and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have entered into an investment promotion agreement that is expected to increase the volume of trade between the two countries.

The agreement was signed by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and the UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Al Tayer in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

The Promotion and Protection of Investments agreement will see more investments from UAE flowing into Kenya. Kenyan companies will also find it easier to do business in the UAE. The agreement eases trade restrictions and provides assurance for investors in both countries by creating favourable trading conditions.

Both countries will promote and encourage investments from the partner country while also offering reciprocal protection. “Investments by investors of either contracting party shall enjoy full protection and security in the territory of the other contracting party in accordance with the domestic laws of the host contracting party and the applicable rules of international law,” the agreement says.

Bilateral relations

Al Tayer said investors will be excited to tap into business opportunities that exist between the two countries. “We are excited about the opportunities in Kenya. This agreement will be a platform to encourage and strengthen the relationship between our two countries,” he said. He noted that the agreement will give more confidence to private investors from both countries. Al Tayer said the two countries can work closely in boosting tourist numbers coming to Kenya through a partnership that will see visitors coming through UAE.

Mr Rotich said Kenya requires investors in key areas, especially the infrastructure sector, which needs more than Sh100 billion in investments, on annual basis. “There is a huge investment gap in infrastructure and we also need investors in the energy sector where we are working on huge projects,” he said. Rotich noted that besides the construction of the standard gauge railway line and expansion of the road network, Kenya plans to invest in Mombasa port to make it more efficient.

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Mr Rotich said Kenya’s economy was resilient despite threats of terrorism, adding that the Government was aiming at double-digit economic growth rates. The event was attended by Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Solicitor General Njee Muturi, among other senior UAE government officials.


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