Nairobi, KENYA: Kenya and Botswana on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at boosting trade & Investment partnerships between the two countries.
Speaking during the Kenyan-Botswana Forum in Nairobi, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Adan Mohamed said Kenya had been proactive in its efforts to improve relations between the two nations; to capitalize on business and Investment opportunities for their mutual benefit.
“We are excited at the signing of this MOU as a show of commitment to strengthen our trade and investment relationship with Botswana, as we seek to leverage our competitive advantages in diverse industries for our mutual benefit”, said Mohamed.
This comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Gaborone to attend the Botswana-Kenya Business Forum in June this year and the subsequent visit by Botswana’s President, Ian khama to Kenya in the same month.
CS Mohammed added that being part of EAC and COMESA trading blocs, Kenya has achieved an improved status with her counterparts and this has provided a favorable reputation in the global economy.
“We now want to leverage this global perception to further the country’s economic capacity for production and expand our trade commodity variety to access different markets,” added Mohamed.
According to the State Minister, Investment, Trade and Industry Botswana, Vincent T. Seretse, his country was committed to improve relations and leverage Kenya’s competitive positioning in Africa to improve his country’s economic capabilities.
”Following our progressive efforts in June this year, this forum will showcase our resolve to strengthening bilateral relations between Kenyan and Botswana.” said Seretse.
Kenyan exports to Botswana in 2014 stood at sh. 834 million, according to the Kenya Revenue Authority Customs Department (KRACD) but drooped to sh. 451 million by the beginning of 2016; following reduced trade between the African nations.
Kenya’s main imports from Botswana are general electricals, rubber material, clothing, furniture, household electricals, television receivers and pottery whilst the country exports pharmaceuticals, mineral oils, fruit juices, instruments and appliances, lighting and fittings.
This MOU signing comes a time when Kenya has ramped up the local business environment, supported by the recent improvement in the Ease of Doing Business ranking to position 92.
The one-day forum is jointly organised by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, Kenya Investment Authority and its counterpart in Botswana, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) among others.