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Kenya woos French investors, ink bilateral deals

10 June 2015, 21:57

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday urged visiting top business executives of 50 French firms to search for more investment opportunities in the East African nation.

Kenyatta, who held talks in Nairobi with representatives of the major French firm including Airbus Helicopters and Alcatel-Lucent that led by the Minister of State for Foreign Trade of France, Matthias Fekl, said Kenya encourages partnerships that are of mutual benefit to Kenyans and investors.

"We want to benefit from the taxes you pay, the employment that you will create and the capital you will inject in the economy," Kenyatta said in a statement issued after the meeting.

Analysts say Paris' eagerness to increase cooperation with Nairobi has been rekindled by the key reforms the country has embarked on, especially after the enactment of the new constitution.

Also read: Kenya Power to roll out KES 15 000 power project in September

The cooperation entered a new phase in April 2011 when Kenya and France signed a political declaration, after identifying areas of cooperation that sought to enhance political partnership between the two nations.

Kenyatta, who witnessed the signing of agreements between Kenya and France on the financing of several development projects, said the visit by the French investors symbolizes the confidence Paris has in Nairobi and its desire to develop that partnership to a deeper level.

He told the investors that the government was doing more to improve the business environment.

"We in Kenya know that our development goals will be achieved faster if we facilitate the private sector to be active partners," he said, adding that his government's role was to facilitate investors by creating conducive environments for them to do business.

During the meeting, Fekl said there are 70 major French companies operating in Kenya today, twice as many as in 2012.

He said the increasing number of French business in Kenya was a response to President Kenyatta's policy to improve the business environment for private investors.

"The French government is impressed by your pragmatic and precise engagement to improve the Kenyan economy. Our companies are at your service to improve the Kenyan economy," said the minister.


- Xinhua


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