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India lines up for Kenya’s trade pie

By Wainaina Wambu | Published Sat, September 1st 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 31st 2018 at 23:33 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta meets India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Shri Suresh Prabhu and his delegation at State House, Nairobi during his recent visit. [Courtesy]

India has joined other global economies in their quest to cement trade ties with Kenya.

The Asian country is positioning itself for investment opportunities arising from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, especially projects aimed at driving the manufacturing sector.

Suresh Prabhu, minister for commerce and industry and civil aviation last week was in Kenya, leading a high-powered delegation to scout for investment opportunities.

During his four-day visit, he met President Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and other State officials where he pledged his country’s commitment in helping Kenya achieve the Big Four agenda.

His visit came on the backdrop of renewed vigour by major economies in the world, including the US and UK, to renew trade ties with Kenya amid growing influence by China on the latter’s economy.

Market study

Mr Prabhu urged Indian businesses in Kenya to position themselves to benefit from the planned $220 million (Sh22 billion) power project funded by the Indian government which is expected to drive the manufacturing agenda by increasing the country’s electricity output.

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The talks with his Kenyan counterparts also focused on health cooperation between the two countries as record numbers of Kenyans keep on trooping to India for specialised treatment.

In his address to Kenyan and Indian business leaders, Mr Prabhu emphasised research and design in products for the Kenyan market.

He also urged Indian businesses to carry out a market study to identify priority areas for bilateral cooperation.  

Data from the Economic Survey 2018 show that trade between Kenya and India has been on a downward trend.

Kenya’s exports in 2016 stood at Sh11.9 billion but fell to Sh5.9 billion last year.


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