The businessmen, representing multi-billion dollar operations, included oil and gas company Queiroz Galvao, aerospace conglomerate Embraer Defense & Security, diversified engineering, construction and chemicals outfit Odebrecht, manufacturers Randon and Agropeucaria Foletto & Alimentos – the globe’s largest private rice farmer.
An executive from Argentinian agriculture products firm Rizobacter, which is looking to expand to Kenya, accompanied the Brazilians who held an exhibition in Nairobi this week as part of their exploration of business opportunities in Kenya.
“We are keen to invest in your country, to meet your development requirements as identified in Vision 2030,” said rice farmer Ari Foletto, who usually farms between 12,000 and 35,000 hectares of land.
” We are certainly keen to use Kenya as a major regional hub and launching pad for our enterprises in this part of the world,” added Goncalves Pereira, of diversified conglomerate Odebrecht, a major company with revenues worth $43 billion last year alone that is interested in Kenya’s flagship LAPPSET corridor project and other infrastructure concerns.
The business leaders showered praise on Kirimi Kaberia, Kenya’s Ambassador to Brazil, who is also accredited to other Latin American countries, whom they said had personally led a major campaign to persuade them to invest their billions of dollars in Kenya and East Africa.
President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto told the business leaders that Kenya was willing and ready to partner with the Brazilians and the Argentinian firm, as part of its campaign to grow the economy.
“We welcome you to invest in our country. The business environment is sound and competitive. You will find that this is a very secure and rewarding destination for your investments,” President Kenyatta said.