, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – Kenya is hosting a business seminar that saw over 70 business people from Japan meet with their Kenyan counterparts to network.
It follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s working dinner with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan last year.
According to Japanese Ambassador to Kenya, Tatsushi Terada, the seminar was organised with the hope of reaffirming the strong relations between the two countries.
“This seminar is very timely and presents a significant opportunity to network and create business bonds necessary for our two great countries, Kenya and Japan,” Terada said.
His sentiments were echoed by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
According to Mohamed, the seminar will propel deeper bilateral trading relations between the two countries.
“Today’s business seminar between Kenya and Japan will enhance commercial exchange and provide a business networking environments between the two countries,” she said.
The ties between the two countries have deepened in the recent past. For instance, a total of US1.5billion was made in 2014 from bilateral trade between the two countries.
Trade between Japan and Kenya has seen Kenya export Coffee, Tea and Sisal among other products to Japan. On the other hand, Japan has exported machinery, automobiles and spare parts among other items into Kenya.
“There are already 39 Japanese companies operating in Kenya. These include Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Honda Motor and Nikon just to mention a few. I therefore urge all investors who are present in this seminar to invest in Kenya,” she added.
The Cabinet Secretary also took the opportunity to identify sectors that had opportunities for investment.
They include projects in transport such as Standard Railway Gauge, Mombasa 2nd Container Terminal and the LAPSSET project among others.
Other available areas to invest in include energy such as Olkaria 1 United 6 and Meru Wind and areas in agriculture and tourism.
“I also urge you to explore Kenya’s tourism, both for business and leisure purposes,” she added.
Terada also confirmed that Kenya would to host the next Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
TICAD which will be take place next year, will be the first time the event will be held outside Japan and in Africa.
“TICAD has been held every five years to promote high level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners. I am happy to announce that the next TICAD will be held outside of Japan and in Africa for the very first time,” said Terada.
The conference has proven to be beneficial to Africa. During the last conference in 2013, trade and investment for Africa were boosted. The boost included a commitment of up to US$2billion extended to promote investment treaty negotiations and dispatch policy advisers to 10 countries.