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Kenya to benefit from Nordic countries partnership

10 June 2014, 10:36

Nairobi - Kenya and East African counterparts are set to enjoy improved business partnerships with Nordic countries following the conclusion of the investment and trade forum in Gävle, Sweden.

The conference was held to facilitate trade between Sweden and EAC in areas like manufacturing, infrastructure, transport, logistics, financial and consultancy services, energy, agriculture and tourism.
It was also an awakening opportunity for Sweden to take its rightful place among leading nations that invests in EAC.

Eva Walder, Director- General for Trade, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in her opening speech said, “We see a new Africa emerging with an increasing number of democracies, very strong growth and a growing middle class.”

Fredrick Owiti, an EAC delegate, said he “wondered” why the Nordic states were inactive in investment in East Africa compared to the Chinese in spite of huge capital movement, non-discrimination policies, common market protocol and common passport (East Africa passport) for easy movement across the country’s borders.

Lilian Awinja, a representative of East African Business Council, called the attention of the Swedish authority to the challenges they faced in securing Visa in East Africa which posed serious threats to potential business partners that might want to come to Sweden.

However, Charlotte Kalin, Chief Executive Officer at Chamber of Trade Sweden, who is also the moderator at the conference, advised the business partners from Africa to always apply for their visa on time, make their company known to their respective home country Embassy through contact and attend their Embassy functions to facilitate better relationship.

Dr Joe Sang, Kenya's Ambassador to Stockholm, in his closing remarks, stressed the importance of direct collaboration between East Africa and the Nordic countries was an important key to growth.

Connect East Africa, an independent platform devoted to trade and interchanges with the East African countries and supported by the Region of Gävleborg and Gävle,  organised the conference.

EAC is the regional inter-government organization which comprises of five countries namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

The Nordic countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

 – CAJ News

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