Businessmen urged to diversify exports to Kenya

High commissioner stresses increasing bilateral trade volume

Our Correspondent February 23, 2017

KARACHI: High Commissioner of Kenya Julius K Bitok has urged the business and industrial community of Karachi to focus on diversifying their exports to Kenya in order to improve the meagre trade volume between the two countries.

“A host of Pakistani products can be introduced in Kenya as well as other African markets through Kenya,” the Kenyan HC said while expressing worries over limited trade volume between Pakistan and Kenya.

Speaking during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), he said that Kenya, being the member of Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa (COMESA), can be used by Pakistani business community to access more than 400 million people inhabiting in the COMESA region, which comprises of 20-member states.

Rice and tea are the two main commodities that have been traditionally been traded between the two countries.

He also underscored the need to promote tourism opportunities between the two countries and enhance linkages between Nairobi Chamber and KCCI, which would bring the business communities closer.

“KCCI should hold business-to-business meetings with their counterparts in Nairobi Chamber either in Karachi or in Nairobi and we will fully facilitate such meetings,” said Bitok. He was of the view that Kenya, being an economically stable country, was a safe place for Pakistani investors as doing business in Kenya was much easier as compared to other African states.

He also invited KCCI to participate in the forthcoming 3rd Africa Tea Convention & Exhibition scheduled to be organised on May 11 and 12, 2017 in Nairobi.

Earlier, KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo said with improved law and order situation and upon completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar Port, Pakistan is likely to attract substantial amount of foreign investment from different parts of the world.

During fiscal year 2016, goods exported by Pakistan to Kenya fell by 12% to $252 million compared with $286.5 million in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year fiscal year. On the other hand, Pakistan’s import from Kenya increased by 40% to $389 million during fiscal year 2016 against the imports of $277.9 million in fiscal year 2015.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2017.

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