How will Kenya benefit from Modi's visit?
12 July 2016, 09:39
Nairobi - India and Kenya on Monday signed seven agreements that will see the Asian nation provide 45 million U.S. dollars in financing, during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Kenya.
Among them are a line of credit agreement of 15 million dollars for Kenya's state-run IDB Capital Limited to support the development of small and medium enterprises, and another line of credit agreement of 29.95 million dollars to upgrade Kenya's Rift Valley Textiles factory.
Cooperation agreements on defence, housing policy development and management, and health services, and a deal between the Bureau of India Standards and Kenya Bureau of Standards were also signed.
Others are about the exemption of Visa for diplomatic passports holders, avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Modi witnessed the signing of the agreements.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Nairobi after talks, Modi said his government would donate equipment used in manufacturing pharmaceuticals like antiretroviral drugs to Kenyan public hospitals.
"This will make Kenya the regional medical hub," Modi said, describing Kenya as a true and trusted partner of India.
"Our historical people-to-people ties provide a strong basis to our wide-ranging partnership," Modi added.
Modi said India will finance the construction of a cancer facility in Kenya which will offer "affordable" health care.
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Modi arrived in Nairobi on Sunday accompanied with a delegation of 80 businessmen.
India is a major trading partner and investor for Kenya, yet Modi said: "There is potential to achieve much more."
"India is ready to share its development experiences, expertise and capacities to assist in Kenya," he said.
India is renowned for a relatively well developed healthcare system with many Kenyans flying to New Delhi to seek treatment every year.
On his part, President Kenyatta expressed optimism that the bilateral agreements will boost cooperation between the two countries in defence, tourism, immigration, agriculture and trade.
The president appreciated the offer by India to fund the construction and equipping of a cancer hospital in Kenya.
"The government of India has also offered support to Kenya in the area of health; an area in which their expertise and leadership is globally respected," he said.
He said the talks with Modi begun the dialogue on knowledge transfers and pharmaceutical technology between the two nations.
"One of the other things we hope to do, eventually, is create a pharmaceutical drug manufacturing capacity here in Kenya, with the support of India," he said.
"Such an effort would help us produce life-saving drugs needed by so many of our citizens, including ARVs (antiretroviral drugs)," he added.
President Kenyatta also spoke about people-to-people exchanges.
"India also plans to host the Festival of India here in Kenya later this year, and we look forward to supporting that exciting initiative, and to strengthening the people-to-people interactions that are truly the bedrock of our bilateral relationship," he said.