Trade between Kenya and the United Arab Emirates is expected to pick up following the signing of a treaty to eliminate double taxation.
The two countries have agreed to boost a joint cooperation committee which will drive business and economic ties between Kenya and the oil rich gulf nation.
Trade Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed advised a visiting UAE delegation to set up their base in the special economic zones that attract huge tax holidays.
For a long time the United Arab Emirates has been one of Kenya’s leading trade partner with business between the two countries being heavily in favor of the oil rich gulf state.
According to the Leading Economic Indicators Report, Kenya’s imports from United Arab Emirates doubled in the first five months of this year.
Imports from the UAE grew by a substantial 53 percent and were valued at Ksh 41.9 billion in the five months to May this year, compared to Ksh 26.7 billion last year. However exports to the Arab nation grew marginally to around Ksh 10 billion in the same period.
To increase trade ties, the two nations have agreed to eliminate double taxation.
CS Adan Mohammed has told a Emirates business delegation that there are an estimated 50,000 Kenyans working in the UAE sending billions of shillings to Kenya every year, and urged the country to relax visa rules for Kenyans.
A majority of this number work in hospitality, aviation and security sectors. Other sectors include medical, construction, engineering and telecommunications.
UAE has traditionally exported petroleum products to Kenya, but recently the country has diversified, with a number of its industries now exporting chemicals, plastics and steel, which are finding their way into Kenya.
Nairobi exports avocados, black tea, cut flowers, carbonates of metals and sugar confectionary to Abu Dhabi. The delegation is exploring business opportunities in petro-chemical industries, Gas, health and the agro-food processing.
This is the 3rd year a business delegation from UAE is visiting Kenya on a trade mission.