Trade, diplomacy to top agenda for President’s UK visit

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Trade, investment and Kenya’s bilateral relations will top President Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda when he visits the United Kingdom this week.

The President will embark on the five-day visit on Monday with his mind set on boosting trade ties with the UK and other Commonwealth countries as well as diversifying investments that Kenya attracts.

He will be part of leaders from 53 Commonwealth countries who will gather in London this week to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

The President intends to aggressively promote Kenya as a preferred destination for investors at the summit’s high-profile forums that will bring together leaders of Government and investors.

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Diplomacy, security and regional development priorities are also part of the President’s agenda during the visit.

The President is scheduled to hold talks with Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II and also with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said the President’s talks with the Queen and PM May will be centered around trade, investment, security, and the bilateral relations between Kenya and the UK.

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“We expect discussions that relate to our bilateral relations with the UK which is very important because the UK is one of our big importers in terms of our products whether it is horticultural products like flowers, whether it is our tea and many more,” she said.

She said the President’s schedule includes meetings with Kenyan investors based in the UK as well as other commonwealth countries.

Dr. Juma added President Kenyatta will also deliver an address at Chatham House where he will showcase to the global audience the progress Kenya has made in achieving inclusive economic growth and the positive role it plays in supporting regional peace.

“The President will be speaking at Chatham House, one of the most respected think tank and policy institutes in London and here he will be talking to the world around his Pan-African view and also the place of the Big Four in our development agenda,” she said.

The Cabinet Secretary described the President’s schedule for the week as very busy but one that will be beneficial to Kenya

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Also on the agenda for the President is building momentum for the Blue Economy global conference Kenya will host later in the year.

The blue economy is part of the themes of the summit with discussions set to take place on the new Commonwealth Blue Charter on ocean governance.

CHOGM, a biennial meeting of leaders from the 53 countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations, will this year be held with the theme “Towards a common future” and is focused on promoting prosperity, safety, sustainability and fairness.

Funding for infrastructure development, harnessing the economic potential of the youth bulge and increasing women participation in growth will be part of the discussions during the weeklong summit.

Forums aimed at improving trade within Africa and between commonwealth countries are included in the summit’s schedule.

According to State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu, the President’s diary is packed with the first day and second day entirely devoted to national and regional issues, while the third and fourth day is devoted to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will bring together more than 50 Heads of Government.

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On Tuesday the President is scheduled to visit the London Stock exchange for a meeting with investors where he will use the event to share areas of investment opportunities in terms of his Big Four agenda and job creation.

Mr. Esipisu adds, during his address at Chatham House, the President will give details on Kenya’s efforts in achieving inclusive economic growth, the positive role it plays in supporting regional peace, and its station in a globalising world.

“It is essentially a platform for the President to share his view on a range of areas as a Kenyan leader and a pan-Africanist, including security, South Sudan and Somalia, regional integration and global trends. He will also speak to the Big Four development agenda,” said The State House Spokesperson.

The climax of the summit will be the CHOGM Leader’s retreat at the Windsor Castle on Friday, 20th April 2018.

The retreat is a private meeting where the Heads of Government discuss collaboration on global issue and priorities for the commonwealth.

The summit brings together at least 5000 participants from government, business, and civil society.

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