President Uhuru Kenyatta has invited more Korean companies to set up business in Kenya.
President Kenyatta said he welcomes more partnership between Kenya and Korea in the construction of roads, pipelines and ports to connect the wider Eastern Africa region.
The President, who was speaking at a Kenya-Korea Business Forum in Nairobi this evening, said Kenya is also ready to welcome more Korean companies to invest in ICT, agriculture and e-government among other sectors.
“We welcome your partnership in building the roads, rails and the pipelines that will connect the region,” said the President at the forum, which was also addressed by Korean President Park Geun-Hye.
The President urged Korean companies to seize the opportunity provided by Kenya with its surplus power production and strong IT foundation to make profitable investments.
“We invited you to start operations here, and take advantage of the 650 million people market that is available to you through the tripartite free trade agreement that was signed by over 25 African countries last year,” said the President.
President Park said Kenya is one of the most innovative countries in Africa and Korea wants to forge a new model of partnership with the country.
She said Korea has an advantage in heavy industries while Kenya has an advantage in light industries such as textile.
The Korean President said her country is also ready to buy more Kenyan agricultural products including tea, coffee and flowers.
“Kenya is Korea’s biggest trading partner and now time has come for us to diversify beyond the traditional products. We have to move to forge closer cooperation in ICT and infrastructure,” said President Park.
She said Kenya and Korea have to reinforce cooperation in industrial development and e-government.
Deputy President William Ruto said there are many things Kenya can learn from Korea since the two countries were at the same economic level a few decades ago.
The DP challenged the Kenyan private sector to increase the volume of exports from Kenya to Korea.
“The challenge is to the Kenyan private sector. We need to claim our space in Korea through you,” said the DP.
The forum held at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel was attended by more than 150 Korean business executives who had accompanied President on her State Visit to Kenya. Close to 100 Kenyan business executives also attended the meeting.
Cabinet Secretaries Adan Mohamed and Amina Mohamed also spoke at the forum.