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Envoy: Belarus ready to deepen trade relations with Kenya

EUROPE
By Mireri Junior | Dec 20th 2021 | 3 min read

Republic of Belarus Ambassador to Kenya Pavel Vziatkin says he will ensure citizens of the two countries benefit from the cordial relationship. [Courtesy]

Republic of Belarus Ambassador to Kenya Pavel Vziatkin has said plans are underway to improve trade relations between Kenya and Belarus.

Speaking at a Nairobi Hotel during the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) event, Vziatkin said the Eastern European country was ready to work with both the national and county government to boost trade for the benefit of the two nations.

“Belarus considers the Republic of Kenya as a reliable and prospective partner in East Africa and keens to enhance friendly and mutually beneficial relations,” he said.

The envoy said the Republic of Belarus is one of the leading world producers and exporters of trucks, tractors, road-building and municipal engineering

He said Belarus produces 28 per cent of mining trucks in the world, 17 per cent of harvesters, 17 per cent of potash, 6 per cent of tractors which will be of help to a developing country such as Kenya.

“Belarus is a leading producer of agricultural equipment such as tractors, grain harvesters, all kinds of forage harvesters,” said Mr Vziatkin.

He also cited production of the bikes, road-construction machines, engines to be installed in tractors, cars, buses, electricity power generators, cables.

Belarus also produces urban electric buses which Kenya which takes a leading role in solving climate changes can take advantage of.

The diplomat said the Eastern European nation ranked third in the world by net exports of butter in the world with a share of five per cent and fifth by net exports of skimmed milk powder and cheese.

The two countries are already trade partners with the Republic of Belarus exporting to Kenya potash and mineral mixed fertilizers, newsprint, printed products while Kenya exports flowers and buds, nuts, vegetables and fruits, coffee, tea among other products to Belarus.

Vziatkin blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for the reduction of trade between the two countries in 2021 compared to the previous year but vowed to change the trend in the future.

He also cited a lack of information about Belarus and the opportunities for trade saying he will work with the KNCCI government agencies to market the two countries.

“We must correct the situation for our people to benefit from this cordial relationship between the two governments,” he said, adding that trade between the two countries was successful in 2019 and 2021, before dipping this year.

In 2020, the bilateral turnover amounted to Sh4.5 billion, the Belarusian exports to Kenya at Sh621 million while imports from Kenya at Sh3.95 billion.

The trend changed in 2021, where the turnover reduced to Sh972 million a decline of almost 75 per cent compared to 2020.

Previous trade talks

The remarks come days after Vziatkin met officials from the Ministry of Trade led by PS Johnson Weru to discuss trade ties between the two countries.

In November, the envoy also held talks with KNCCI 1st Vice President Dr Erick Rutto to discuss Belarus-Kenya economic cooperation and trade.

The envoy signed a Memorandum of cooperation with KNCCI to outline specific joint activities to encourage contacts between business communities of Belarus and Kenya.

The Embassy of Belarus was established and started its operation in 2018.

The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest.

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