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
"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.
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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
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.