India, Kenya gear up for bilateral investments

Stating that Indian private and public sector companies hold larger presence in Kenya’s economy, Union Indian Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called the Kenyan companies to explore possibilities of investing in Indian market. She further stressed on the need for India’s increased development partnership engagement with Kenya and for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, horticulture and mining.

The Dollar Business Bureau Kenya Bilateral Trade India and Kenya on Wednesday participated in the seventh Joint Committee Meeting in New Delhi, a meeting that is being held between the two nations after a gap of over four years. In the meeting, both the sides reviewed their bilateral trade and agreed to enhance cooperation in the fields of bilateral investment, infrastructure, among other key sectors. Speaking at the meet, Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Commerce Minister, Government of India, called for enhancement of the share of Kenyan exports in India’s bilateral trade. She further stressed on the need for India’s increased development partnership engagement with Kenya and for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, horticulture and mining.  Referring to Kenyan President’s priority towards the infrastructure sector, she informed that the $62 million line of credit, which was approved in 2010 to erect a 450 km long power transmission line, is under implementation and added that India is also ready to assist Kenya in other areas of priority. Stating that Indian private and public sector companies hold larger presence in Kenya’s economy, the Indian Minister also called the Kenyan companies to explore possibilities of investing in Indian market. This meeting between the countries holds importance in the light of ongoing Indee Kenya 2015, an exhibition being conducted by the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) of India in Nairobi, Kenya, between 11th-13th February, 2015. According to the sources, 70 Indian companies are expected to take part in this event seeking investment opportunities. India’s EEPC chairman Mahesh Desai was quoted to have told the sources that Indian companies at the event are eyeing at growing Kenyan pharmaceutical and healthcare market that is estimated at Sh14.6 billion annually. He further said that Indian trade with Kenya needs an extra push since the potential is much more than expansion of about 12% achieved between April-December, 2014-15 over the same period last year.  Acting High Commissioner to Kenya Sushi Singhai was also quoted to have said the sources that the Government of India is keen to expand trade and investment relations with Kenya as it's a gateway to several other east African countries like Somalia, Uganda South Sudan, Tanzania and Ethiopia. India and Kenya are also likely to sign an agreement over the avoidance of double taxation, added the sources. Singhai further said that both nations are also fast tracking the signing of the investment protection agreement in order to encourage investments in the two countries. According to the official information, Kenya and India highly favours the Indian side and Kenya’s mission strongly welcomes investments from India. The bilateral trade between the India and Kenya has been growing in the recent years and has crossed $4 billion in 2013-14 as compared to $1.5 bn in 2009-10.  In 2013-14, the major commodities of export from India to Kenya were Petroleum (crude and products), drugs and fine chemicals, transport equipment, among others.  Whereas the major commodities of imports into India from Kenya during 2013-14, were inorganic chemicals, pulses, tea, leather, metalifers ores and metal scrap, other crude minerals, raw wool, pulp and wood and wood products.  

This article was published on February 12, 2015.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Feb 12, 2015 12:00 IST
 
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