NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Kenya and Iran on Tuesday signed protocol agreements providing frameworks for enhanced bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
The Agreements on Veterinary and Animal Health and Protocol of Cooperation were signed by the Ministers for Livestock development and Foreign Affairs and witnessed by President Mwai Kibaki and Iranian leader Dr Mahmoud Ahmadenijad at State House, Nairobi.
The agreement on protocol cooperation provided for a Sh398 million ($5 million) credit facility, Iran is extending to Kenya, whose details would later be worked out by the relevant ministries.
During bilateral talks chaired by President Kibaki at State House Nairobi on Tuesday evening, the two leaders noted that the ties between the two countries were founded on a common vision for development and prosperity of the people with trade and investment playing a key role in realising the objective.
President Kibaki said the five sessions of Kenya/Iran joint commission of cooperation, the last of which was held in Nairobi last year, had facilitated an increase in trade between the two countries.
He said the volume of trade between Kenya and Iran currently stood at Sh7 billion and stressed the need for the business communities in the two countries to take advantage of the wider markets in the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) to exploit the potential through joint ventures.
“There is however need to address the imbalance that currently characterises trade relationships of the two countries,” President Kibaki said, adding that Kenya looks forward to increasing her meat products, coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables exports to Iran.
He regretted that the on-going global financial and food crisis coupled with drought caused by unpredictable rainfall had adversely affected Kenya’s economy and posed serious challenges which could only be tackled through multilateral cooperation.
As a developing country, the Head of State however noted, Kenya counts on the support of her development partners to assist in meeting infrastructure and socio-economic needs.
The President reiterated the Government’s desire and commitment to continue working closely with Iran in the spirit of South-South Cooperation to promote multilateralism.