Iran, Kenya agree to boost trade ties

May 28, 2012
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First Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammed Reza and Odinga/PMPS
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Iran is looking to increase its trade and investment portfolio in Kenya to address the balance of trade between the two countries that is heavily skewed to the Islamic state standing at approximately Sh2.3 billion.

The First Vice President of Iran Mohammed Reza Rahimi said his country was ready to double development aid in agriculture, finance, energy, health services and trade to address the imbalance.

“We are here with the purpose of expanding our already very good relations with this great country, in different fields,” he said.

The Iranian leader, who is in Kenya to follow up and complete talks commenced with Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Tehran, encouraged joint investment programs between Kenyan and Iranian investors.

Twelve agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) had been signed earlier between the two countries to strengthen business relations.

Odinga urged officials and businesspeople from the two sides to take advantage of the memoranda and agreements to actualize and intensify bilateral exchange even further.

“The gap we want to fill will only be filled by Iran buying more and more from Kenya. We are going to be holding bilateral talks for the next two days to expand our cooperation,” the PM said.

The memoranda included an MoU on official development assistance, one on credit line facility; agricultural cooperation, agreement on maritime transport and merchant shipping and another on supply of crude oil to Kenya.

Others include an MoU on bilateral relations on fisheries sector, bilateral air services agreement, agreement on protection and promotion of investments, agreement on customs cooperation and MoU on education, research and technical cooperation.

Iran’s economy has come under pressure with mounting sanctions on its oil industry due to questions over its nuclear program.

Global powers US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany held vain talks over the Islamic state’s nuclear challenge in Baghdad last week.

However, more negotiations in Moscow have been slotted for next month to try to end the stalemate.

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