Kenya-Iran eye increase in import-export trade ties

July 19, 2016
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Iran says it's targeting better relations with Africa and Kenya competitive positioning in Africa is crucial in this agenda/AFP
Iran says it’s targeting better relations with Africa and Kenya competitive positioning in Africa is crucial in this agenda/COURTESY       

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – Kenya and Iran will look to build their trade portfolio in agro processing, textiles, leather, management and technical services and materials, oil, gas, mining and constructive materials.

Speaking during a Kenyan-Iranian bilateral trade meeting in Nairobi, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Adan Mohamed confirmed the Iranian delegation led by the Iranian Minister of Trade, Mining and Trade, Mohammad Reza Nezmatzadeh is in the country seeking attractive investment opportunities to invest in.

“We are excited at these potential opportunities to amplify our trade relationship as we seek to leverage our competitive advantages in diverse industries for our mutual benefit”, said Mohamed.

“We have had long and productive trade connections in the past and these discussions today will further that bond as we expand our portfolio of commodities and to develop our industrial capacity” Mohamed said the meeting is a follow-up of a memorandum signed between the two countries during the WTO and the successful visit by the Iranian Minister last year.

And added: “Being part of EAC and COMESA trading blocs has given us an improved the status with our counterparts and has provided Kenya with a favourable reputation in the global economy. We now want to leverage this global perception to further the country’s economic capacity for production and expand our trade commodity variety to access different markets,” said Mohamed.

According to Mr. Nezmatzadeh, Iran is targeting better relations with Africa and Kenya competitive positioning in Africa is crucial in this agenda. “Through these discussions we can explore alternative industries to expand our trade ties like ICT, Leather, and textile among others. We look forward to increased interaction in the coming months and years.” Said Nezmatzadeh

Iran, the 4th largest producer and exporter in the world for tiles and Ceramics has had a fruitful relationship with Kenya. It is currently a large importer of Kenyan Tea, horticulture and a major exporter of Oil to Kenya as it has plans to expand their reach in East Africa.

Kenya boasts being the fifth largest economy south of the Sahara, having a well-educated, qualified and skilled youthful labour force, advanced infrastructure and IT capabilities and access to vast agricultural resources is well placed to provide a in the coming years.

The bilateral partnership comes a time when Kenya has ramped up its business environment, proposed tax incentives for Export based industries like Special economic zones in Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu.
Kenya has also been active industry sector development in the country through the planned construction of a leather industrial park in Machakos to increase production capacity in the country.

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