Kenya’s Deputy President, Dr William Ruto, has continued his short visit to the UK with further meetings.
Following discussions with Secretary of State at the Department for International Development Penny Mordaunt, he met with George Hollingberry, MP for Meon Valley and Minister of State for Trade Policy at Department for International Trade.
He told the minister that “Kenya will play its role to ensure success of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), under special consideration with the European Union to access its duty-free market.
“This broadening of cross-border trade will allow Kenya penetrate new markets; enhance our competitive advantage and increase our foothold in global commerce. The arrangement will not preclude our traditional trade ties with the UK, which is a valued partner,” he added.
At a meeting with members of the Eastern Africa Association (EAA) at Grosvenor House, he urged business leaders to partner with Kenya in furthering the Big Four agenda.
The Association was established early in 1964 on the initiative of a number of prominent, mainly British based companies with business interest in East Africa. Over the years their regional activities have expanded from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to include Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, the Seychelles, Eritrea and South Sudan.
Their membership now embraces more than three hundred and fifty foreign investors, representing all major sectors of business investment in agriculture, industry, commerce, financial services and the professions. Member companies range from small private enterprises to large multi-nationals, with principals based in the UK and many other countries.
Addressing the gathered members, Dr Ruto said: “Kenya has put in place the requisite infrastructure, including a favourable business, regulatory, legal regime and eased trading across borders to attract investors.”
He urged businesspeople, who possess skills, technology and capital to partner with Kenya in furthering the Big Four, especially healthcare, manufacturing and housing, explaining the move will create jobs for youths, generate wealth and expand the economy.
The Deputy President’s Friday morning began with a breakfast meeting with UK tour operators where he took the opportunity to promote Kenya’s tourism products to ensure the country is a premier destination for travel, leisure and cuisine.
“Developing infrastructure, bolstering security and granting tourist visas will enable us showcase our wildlife and cultural offerings; preserve and revitalise historical sites; diversify income streams; advance the economy of host communities and support the hospitality industry,” he explained.
High Commissioner of Kenya to the U.K. Manoah Esipisu said the Deputy President’s visit will boost ties between the two countries in trade, investment and tourism.
Unfortunately, Dr Ruto had to cancel a social event tonight planned by the Kenya High Commission for the Kenyans in diaspora to interact with the deputy president.
With President Kenyatta set to fly out to Ethiopia on Saturday morning for the 32nd Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, he was required to be back in Kenya so the two were not out of the country at the same time.