Kenyans are diligent, educated and hardworking, Uhuru tells Germans
08 April 2016, 10:12
Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed government’s fully commitment to provision of the required support for Germans to invest in Kenya, whose citizens he said were diligent, educated and hardworking.
“You will not find a better place to invest on our continent. Kenyans are well-educated, they are very diligent, they are extremely hard-working. In addition, we are a working democracy that guarantees stability,” he told business executives attending the Germany-Kenya business forum in Berlin.
President Kenyatta said widening of the scope and variety of tradeable products and services between the two countries will increase the trade volumes and bridge the trade imbalance currently in favour of Germany.
The President rooted for strengthened economic, commercial and people to people relations between Kenya and Germany.
“The level of trade relations is quite significant with total trade in 2014 standing at over $610million with the balance being in favour of Germany,” he said.
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The Head of State pointed out that with the paradigm shift in international engagements being anchored on trade and investment, business forums provide great opportunities to strengthen business ties and explore new trade and investment prospects.
President Kenyatta said while Kenya would start exporting crude oil by 2022 the country has no intentions of abandoning commercial agriculture and other traditional economic activities.
He appreciated the confidence German businesses have shown in Kenya’s economy and encouraged many more to explore the wide range of investment opportunities existing across the many sectors.
The President told the business community to use constructive engagement as a means of identifying opportunities, networking and creating more business linkages.
President Kenyatta also encouraged Business Associations and Councils in the two countries to work together and foster private sector linkages terming business forums as catalysts to new investments, trade, and transfer of technology.
Fielding questions from the German investors, the Head of State said the country’s constitution passed in 2010 created 47 regional administrative units that are in charge of garbage collection among other services at the devolved levels.
He however assured that the national government was ready to facilitate engagements between the county governments and investors in addressing impediments to conducting business within the jurisdictions.
Kenya appreciates the investments that Germany businesses have entrusted in the country’s economy and the contributions these investments make to the livelihoods of many Kenyans, the President said.
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“Opportunities for investment exist in the Manufacturing, agriculture and industry as well as emerging sectors in Information and communications technology, mining and value addition in agriculture among others,” the President said.
He told investors to use Kenya’s central position in the East and Central Africa region as a launch pad to penetrate the enormous market of over 650 million people of the recently concluded Tripartite Free Trade Area arrangement.
Regional Communities of the East Africa Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) have agreed to create seamless market from Cairo to Cape Town, the President said.
President Kenyatta said the youthful population and hospitality of Kenyans are assets for potential investors in the country.
The chairperson of Sub-Sahara Africa Initiatives of Germany business (SAFRI) Prof. Heinz Walter Grobe, KEPSA chairman Ambassador Denis Awori and the chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kiprono Kittony spoke during the occasion.
More than 40 Kenyan business executives accompanied the President to the forum.
Later, President Kenyatta, toured the Berlin-based Renewables Academy AG (RENAC) Industrial Park that specializes in combined technical and non-technical practical courses for the dissemination of renewables to meet the increased market demands.
He also toured the Berlin Adlershof Science City, one of the most successful high-technology sites in Germany and Berlin’s largest media site and home to 1,013 companies and scientific institutions.
The two are examples of what Kenya can do, fusing technology, innovation, vocational training and renewable energy initiatives to grow jobs for young people.
Science at work City is one of the 15 largest technological parks in the world.
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