Kenya and Japan commit to strengthening trade ties

Written By: Ronald Owili

PHOTO | State House

Kenya and Japan have agreed to enhance trade collaborations that will boost investments between the two countries.

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In a meeting held Wednesday 13th, January 2020 in Nairobi between Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle Omamo and Japan Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu, the two states have agreed to co-host the Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Partnership Forum virtually which is scheduled for 4th May 2021 in Nairobi as well as investment opportunities under the Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD).

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The two trade forums are expected to help correct the existing trade imbalance which currently favours Japan.

Last year, Kenya exported goods worth Kshs. 5.5 billion to Japan mainly agricultural products such as tea, coffee, vegetables, and cut flowers, while imports from the Asian economic giant amounted to Kshs. 99.4 billion to include machinery, electronics, and motor vehicles.

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The two ministers lauded the long-standing bilateral relations and friendship based on common values, a belief in a rules-based multilateral system, democratic principles, and good governance.

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However, CS Omamo noted direct investments Japan has channeled to Kenya’s national development agenda under Vision 2030 and the Big Four Agenda which she says has greatly contributed to significant gains in infrastructure development among others, renewable energy, agriculture, public health, human capital development.

Japan has recently donated 50,000 PCR test kits in addition to a grant of Kshs. 1.02 billion to support the purchase of medical equipment and supplies to the Counties in the fight against COVID-19.

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Additionally, the ministers exchanged views on a wide-range of cross-cutting issues of mutual interest including international cooperation in the context of the United Nations, Japan’s efforts to promote a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) region for more international trade and economic cooperation as well as efforts to promote regional peace and security.

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