Pakistan High Commissioner to Kenya Saqlain Syedah has hailed the cordial relations between Kenya and Pakistan especially in trade and investments.
She said Kenya exports 43 percent of her tea to Pakistan which is consumed by about 87 percent of the population in Pakistan.
“Kenya and Pakistan have very strong relationships from pre-independence to post independence days. Pakistan is the number one trade destination for Kenya,” she said.
Ms Syedah said this at the Malindi Town Hall in Kilifi County while on a visit to meet officials of the Malindi Municipality Board as well as the Kilifi branch of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).
“Although we get duty free tea from other areas, we have stuck to Kenyan tea. Every year the amount is increasing. Last year, it was 41 percent and this year it is 43 percent,” she said.
She said the two countries are negotiating for a balance of trade between them, noting that currently, the balance of trade is in favour of Kenya.
“The trade is in favour of Kenya and now we want to balance it so that Kenyans can also access our goods,” she said adding that Pakistan is trying to diversify her exports to Kenya especially in electronics, automobiles of medium size, haulers and trucks and car batteries among others.
She called on Kenyan authorities to consider lowering duty on Pakistani products, especially rice, which she said is Pakistani’s biggest export to Kenya.
Ms Syedah said Pakistan is also seeking ties with Kenya in the shipping industry, especially collaboration between ports for development.
Ms Syedah was received by Malindi Municipal Board Chairman Aliasgar Kasamjee, Kilifi County KNCCI Chairman Majid Swale and Malindi Municipality Manager Silas Ngudo among others.
Mr. Kasamjee said the municipality is doing its best to make Malindi an open destination for investment and welcomed Pakistani investors to invest in the tourist resort town.
Ms. Syedah also visited the Tawfiq Hospital, a faith-based health facility in Malindi Town, and pledged to assist in the provision of modern medical equipment through various Pakistani organizations.