Kenya to enhance trade with Lanka
"We look forward to interact more with Sri Lanka and three trade
agreements being discussed at present will be signed when a business
delegation from Sri Lanka visits Nairobi next year," Director, Economic
Affairs and International Trade of Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Nairobi, Nelson Ndirangu Ogn told Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard
Bathiudeen in Colombo last week.
A nine-member trade delegation led by Ogn was in Colombo to attend
the Joint Economic Cooperation (JEC) meeting between the two countries.
“We hope to become a middle income country by 2030. The three
agreements we hope to sign are bilateral trade agreement, agreement on
avoidance of double taxation, and the agreement on promotion and
protection of bilateral investments," Ogn said.
"Our Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries will visit Sri
Lanka to sign it when it is ready," he said.
In 2013, trade between both countries stood at US $13.94 million
compared to US $ 12.78 million in 2012.
Among Sri Lanka's exports to Kenya in 2013 were natural rubber, tyres,
sacks and bags, fibre, tea, rice, coconut coir, and activated carbon.
Trade from January to June 2014 totalled US $5.86 million.
"Once we formalise the three instruments at government-to-government
level, the private sectors at both ends could launch activities. A draft
agreement is also being finalised for agricultural cooperation."
"We also need to have B2B interaction and forge Chamber level links.
Following President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to Kenya last year, the
Nairobi Chamber of Commerce and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce entered
into an MoU which has strengthened bilateral trade," Ogn said.
“The JEC has helped to export our fruits and vegetables, construction
material, ceramics and leather products to Kenya.We note your interest
in our leather processing sector. We thank you for inviting us to
Kenya's 'Tea Expo' in 2015," said Minister Bathiudeen.
Ogn and Minister Bathiudeen also discussed other avenues of bilateral
Kenya discovered oil and gas in 2012 and is now the ninth largest
economy in Africa. In its Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15, the
World Economic Forum listed Kenya as the sixth best among the top 10
economic performers of Africa.
"If you inform the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) in
advance about important events in your trade calendar, we could
facilitate even greater B2B interaction," he said.
Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Anura Siriwardene,
Chairman and CEO, EDB, Bandula Egodage, DG, EDB, Sujatha Weerakoone and
Director General, Department of Commerce, R. D. S. Kumararatne were also