Kenya pushes for improved trade ties with Tunisia
The Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia organized the 1st Kenya-Tunisia Business Forum with the aim of creating long-term economic relations between Tunisia and Kenya.
The forum which was held in a Nairobi hotel saw the participation of a high level delegation from the Kenya and Tunisia government led by State department for industry PS Betty Maina, Tunisia Minister of Commerce Omar Behi as well as the high level investors from both countries.
Speaking at the event the Kenyan government said it was in the forefront in improving intra-Africa trade and opening up new markets for Kenyan products and professional services. The government expressed optimism that trade between the two countries which stands at $3.15M was set to improve with the renewed co-operation and particularly with Kenya with the potential to play a key role as a trade hub for further distribution of Tunisia goods and services to the markets of other countries in East Africa.
“We are happy that the Tunisia private sector have expressed interest in the Big 4 Agenda especially in Universal Health Coverage and Affordable Housing. We are also happy in exploring opportunities in Tunisia and we will have a delegation from government headed to Tunisia next month led by Foreign Affairs cabinet secretary Monica Juma,” Said PS Betty Maina.
Tunisia on its part has called on its investors to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in Kenya and the East Africa Community with special focus on the Big 4 focus areas mainly agriculture and manufacturing as well as seek cooperation with Kenyan companies as a link to Europe.
Speaking at the event Tunisian Minister of Commerce Omar Behi said his country offers a gateway to the European market with a population of 400 million and both countries needed to review their approach to cooperation and development so as their benefit our people.
The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry on its part has called on businesses between the two countries to build business relationships that will lead to realization of sustainable economic growth and good bilateral relations between the two countries.
“As we address the issue of the trade balance between the two countries, we will always realize our dreams by working together in synergy. This forum is a clear indication of the eagerness and determination of African investors to engage in intra-Africa trade,” Chamber President Kiprono Kittony challenged the delegates.
Both countries have agreed that logistics remain the biggest barrier to trade and there is therefore a need to hasten the availability of a direct flight between the two countries.
During the occasion the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Center (Tunisia) inked an MoU that will promote commercial exchange between the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Tunisia through international fairs and exhibitions, sharing of market information on important economic and trade issues including developments in their respective commercial legislation and regular exchange of commercial information and publications.