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Kenya’s Parliament accused of delaying deal on direct KQ flights to Brazil

NEWS
By Dominic Omondi | May 28th 2015

NAIROBI: An open-sky agreement signed in 2010 by Kenya and Brazil that would pave way for Kenya Airways to fly directly from Nairobi to the Brazilian city of Sao Paolo is gathering dust as it awaits parliamentary approval.

Brazil’s ambassador to Kenya, Marcela Nicodemos, said the deal, if concluded, would go a long way towards increasing the number of tourist arrivals from Brazil to Kenya.

Speaking to journalists yesterday during the launch of the third Brazil in Eastern Africa Trade and Exhibition to be held between June 4 and 6, the ambassador said her country has been waiting for Kenya to ratify the agreement.

“We still hope that this will be done, possibly this year. We would like tourist guides and companies [from Brazil] to come here and learn from your experience in dealing with tourism,” Ms Nicodemos said, adding that the Brazilian embassy in Kenya has been pushing for ratification .

TRADE VOLUME

The ambassador noted that relations between Brazil and Kenya have been “distant” because of what she described as Brazil’s policy of concentrating mostly on Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, such as Mozambique and Angola.

But even then, there have been concerns over the trade imbalance between the two countries, with Kenya buying more from Brazil than the other way around.

As at last year, the trade volume between the two countries amounted to $57 million (Sh5.6 billion at current exchange rates), with Brazil exports to Kenya gobbling up about $56 million (Sh5.5 billion) of this amount.

Mr Marcos Brandalise, the managing director of BrazAfric Enterprises, which helps Brazilian firms trade in Africa, attributed this imbalance to the fact that Kenya Airways buys most of its aircraft from Brazil.

Brazil also exports domestic and industrial appliances, heavy machinery for mining and construction, agricultural equipment and tractors, motor vehicles, sugar and aluminium wire.

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