NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea Tuesday morning held bilateral talks where they agreed to fast-track multi-billion shilling agreements signed between Kenya and Korea.
They urged the relevant ministries and government agencies involved to speed up the process of implementing pacts signed in order to deepen the existing bilateral relations.
President Kenyatta said there is need for the two governments to consolidate their partnership in priority areas of cooperation such as energy, integrated rural and urban development and human development.
He said the priority areas allow for collaboration in energy, transport, ICT, agriculture, education and science and technology projects.
President Kenyatta said Kenya has a lot to learn from the Korean expertise and experiences as this will help the country to successful implement its national development priorities based on the Vision 2030 blueprint.
Areas of cooperation in which President Kenyatta called for further engagement include, trade and investment, education, Information, Communication and Technology and cooperation in sports and culture.
On trade and investment, President Kenyatta said there has been steady growth in volume of trade between the two countries standing at Sh29.10 billion in 2014.
He however pointed out the trade balance is in favour of Korea and that the gap can be reduced by allowing more Kenyan products to access the Korean market.
“These include cut flowers, coffee, black tea, and fresh produce such as mangoes, avocadoes, pineapples among others, which are world class products and are traded in international markets. We believe that an increase of exports would improve trade relations between our countries,” said President Kenyatta.
He noted that the government is eager to enter a Memorandum of Understanding of cooperation in Electric Power and Nuclear Energy Development with the Government of Korea.
“Korea is already training 14 Kenyan students at the Kepco International Nuclear Graduate School (KINGS),” said President Kenyatta.
To date, said the President, investment in the Energy sector, particularly by Korean companies has enhanced Kenya’s generation of power.
The President pointed out that the Korean Government has helped in the rehabilitation of primary schools in Nairobi, Nakuru and Thika.
The Head of State said his government supports the ongoing dialogue between relevant authorities of the two countries charged with the establishment of Kenya Advance Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) at Konza Techno City.
The Korean President responded by saying Kenya is a regional economic power and has great influence.
She said her Government will help Kenya achieve its vision 2030 by increasing trade and business investment.
On importation of horticultural and other agricultural products to Korea, President Park said her government will consult quarantine authorities and agree on what needs to be done.
She said Korean firms are keen in participating on the LAPSSET and Vision 2030 projects so as to support Kenya achieve its development agenda.
The meeting was attended by Deputy President William Ruto and Cabinet Secretaries.
President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta later hosted President Park to a State Luncheon at State House, Nairobi.
The luncheon was also attended by Opposition leader Raila Odinga and Minority Leader in the Senate Moses Wetangula.