Kenya will host a forum for the Egyptian Business Community on investment, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said.
Speaking during an engagement with the Egyptian Ambassador to Kenya Wael Attiya at his Harambee House Annex on Thursday, the Deputy President said it is time that the two countries jointly invested more for mutual economic benefit.
Mr Gachagua was responding to the Ambassador, who requested a meeting between Kenya and the business community in Egypt on investment, saying Egyptians were keen on investing in Kenya, in big numbers.
There were plans for Kenya and Egypt to host an investment forum in Cairo next year, but the ambassador requested an earlier date and the meeting to be held in Nairobi.
“We can fast track the business forum with our team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as quickly as possible,” the DP said
The Deputy President said Kenya is open to joint ventures and investment in agriculture, education and technology, tourism, among others. Egyptian Companies have registered interest in extractives, agriculture, water, power generation, among other areas.
Mr Gachagua said Kenya has addressed a number of bottlenecks that have slowed foreign direct investment as part of the strategy of easing the business environment. He said the bureaucratic process on registration of companies and other requirements has been addressed through the one stop shop partnership department at the Office of the Deputy President.
He added that Kenya is establishing a visa free regime to enhance movement of people, goods and services between Nairobi and the rest of the continent. This, he said, requires reciprocity for successful implementation.
“There is a trade imbalance between Kenya and Egypt. We need to work on it. We also want to work with you in mechanised agriculture where you are very strong. You have had a very successful venture in agriculture. Those are good lessons we can borrow from your country,” the Deputy President said.
In 2022, Kenya’s exports to Egypt stood at Ksh 27 billion while the imports were valued at Ksh 27 billion.
On the other hand, the ambassador said many companies are interested in investing in Kenya.
“Our companies are interested in working with Kenya in joint investments. There is huge interest. Last year, more than 20 Egyptian companies visited Kenya to explore available opportunities. We are keen on sharing knowledge and expertise on turning the economic fortunes of arid and semi-arid areas,” Mr Attiya said.
The ambassador appreciated Kenya for its role in peace and security at the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia, Sudan and Southern Sudan. He said Egypt is determined to work with other African States in supporting the African Union on silencing the guns, which will spur development.