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Kenya, SA discuss trade relations

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – South African Vice-President Kgalema Motlanthe has reassured of his government’s commitment to improving trade with Kenya.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on President Mwai Kibaki at his Harambee House office on Friday, Mr Motlanthe noted that Kenya is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the East African region.

In this regard, the visiting South African Vice-President said his government is working towards addressing the prevailing trade imbalance between the two countries. The balance of trade is currently in favour of South Africa.

Mr Motlanthe, at the same time, commended the people of Kenya for conducting themselves peacefully during the referendum and ensuring that they got a new Constitution through a fair and transparent process.

He, therefore, pledged his government’s support in the implementation of Kenya’s new Constitution.

On his part, President Kibaki expressed the need for Kenya and South Africa to fully exploit the existing trade potential for the benefit of the people of the two countries.

Appreciating the progress the two countries have so far made on bilateral trade, President Kibaki said Kenya and South Africa should work more closely to further promote trade between them.

Noting that Kenya and South Africa are set to sign an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, the President directed the relevant ministries to follow up on the agreement as it will encourage investment in the two countries.

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The South African Vice-President was accompanied by a high powered delegation comprising of the South African Ministers of Trade, Agriculture and Forestry among others.

Present were Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Internal Security Minister and acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Prof. George Saitoti, Trade Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Amb. Francis Muthaura and acting Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Amb Patrick Wamoto.

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