Kenya seeks better ties with Japan

PHOTO | FILE Foreign Affairs cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed speaks at a past event.

What you need to know:

  • Cabinet secretary urges the Asian country to buy more local goods

Japan should import more Kenyan goods to bridge the trade gap between the two countries, a Cabinet secretary has said.

Foreign Affairs cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed also urged Japan to take advantage of the Kenyan investment opportunities.

She was speaking during the Japan-Kenya Business Forum in Nairobi on Monday.

Ms Mohammed said there are plenty of investment opportunities in Kenya due to the country’s strategic position in East Africa.

“There is great potential to improve our trade relations which is currently in favour of Japan. This could be improved by Japan buying more tea, coffee, fruits and nuts among other products. In deed Japan may wish to consider buying our cut flowers directly instead of doing so through Europe,” she said.

“Huge opportunities exist in the construction of an ICT city (Konza City), the first in East and Central Africa, the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia (Lapsset) project and developments in the energy sector. These projects when completed will improve the lives of Kenyans and that of the region’s residents.”

The Cabinet secretary praised Japan’s announcement to provide assistance to Africa amounting to 3.2 trillion yen ($32 billion) in public-private initiatives, including 1.4 trillion yen ($14 billion) in official development assistance. Japan made the announcement during Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in June.

Ms Mohammed said Japan is a leading development partner for Kenya with official development assistance currently at about 514.69 billion yen (Sh419 billion).