Kenya woos Japan, Thai investors

February 21, 2010

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 21 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Saturday concluded a week-long tour of Japan and Thailand where he wooed investors in the two countries to invest in Kenya.

The premier told a press conference on arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport that his extensive consultations with Government officials and the business community from the two South East Asian countries were fruitful.

"We went to seek trade and investment opportunities as opposed to the old habit of begging for Aid. But to cope with the impact of global warming, we encourage promotion of green energy and reforestation projects" he said. 

He also announced that the two countries had pledged to support government efforts in mitigating the effects of climate change.

"The Japanese government has extended Sh2.24 billion soft loan towards such initiatives including a special Sh385 million grant for restoration of the Mau Forest complex," he said.

Mr Odinga unveiled some projects the foreign companies planned to undertake and encouraged investors to fully exploit opportunities in green energy production towards reduction of carbon emission, largely blamed for the global phenomena.

The PM said the Japanese people wanted to assist the country develop a nuclear energy reactor to bridge the power deficit the country experienced in bid to reduce carbon emission from other sources of energy.

He said the Toyota Company expressed interest to invest in the geothermal and solar energy production.

Mr Odinga said top executives of the multinational company sanctioned plans for construction of an oil pipeline and export terminal from the Proposed Lamu Port to Juba town in Southern Sudan.

"The company has confirmed plans to make Kenya a logistic hub by September this year and also put up 30 mega watt solar energy generation plant in Garissa town"  he said. 

He said the Thai government pledged to promote bilateral ties with Kenya through investment in the energy, Agro and Fruit processing industries for the mutual benefit of both countries.

"I am now optimistic that Kenya is likely to make major strides in mitigating the effects of climate change now that main players like Japan have made efforts to bail out vulnerable countries," Mr Odinga said.

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