Security, ICT and agriculture top as South Korea leader to visit Kenya

May 26, 2016 5:27 pm
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On security, South Korean Ambassador Young Dae Kwon says they will look at possible joint training programmes for Kenya's security personnel in South Korea more so in fighting terrorism/FILE
On security, South Korean Ambassador Young Dae Kwon says they will look at possible joint training programmes for Kenya’s security personnel in South Korea more so in fighting terrorism/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26- Security, ICT and agriculture will top discussions, during South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s three days State visit to Kenya.

On security, South Korean Ambassador Young Dae Kwon says they will look at possible joint training programmes for Kenya’s security personnel in South Korea more so in fighting terrorism.

“Security talks will revolve around boarder control since we share common threats,” he said.

The South Korean leader is expected to arrive in the country on Monday next week; 34 years after a South Korean President visited Kenya. She will be accompanied by 150 government officials and over 100 investors.

President Park is set to meet her counterpart President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday at Nairobi State House, where they will proceed with bilateral talks.

“Korea leads in e-government issues and that is what we would like to happen in Kenya because this will help in general growth economically, promote transparency and efficiency,” Young stated.

Later on Tuesday, the South Korean President will host a business forum that will bring together investors from her country and Kenya.

Korean health and supplementary food projects will also be inaugurated in the country according to the envoy.

Kiambu County, he said will be a major beneficiary in the agricultural projects.

Among the demands she is set to make include asking Kenya to relax some of the regulations that Young says remain a major hurdle for Korean investors coming to the country.

“There are many rules and regulations and bureaucracies… we just want an enabling environment,” he said.

He said they expect the trade imbalance between Kenya and Korea to be reduced through increased trading.

“The two countries have improved transactions significantly when we look at figures. In 2006, for instance, exports from Kenya to Korea was valued Sh100 million ($5.5m) compared to Sh1.9 billion ($17.9m in 2015. Similarly imports to Kenya from Korea were valued at Sh16 billion ($164m) in 2009 compared to Sh25 billion ($253m) in 2014,” he said.

Some of the Korean companies set to be represented include Daewoo, Hyundai, LG and Samsung.

South Korea and Kenya, may be in a different continent, but share a similar history.

According to Young, In February 1964, Korea’s former president, Park Chung-hee (who is the current leader’s father) and Kenya’s first President, Jomo Kenyatta (Uhuru’s father) established diplomatic relations between Nairobi and Seoul.

“About 50 years later, Park Chung-hee’s daughter (Park Geun-hye) and Jomo Kenyatta’s son (Uhuru) are the presidents of their respective countries.”

Park will conclude her three-day visit to Kenya by going to the United Nations headquarters in Gigiri.

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