President William Ruto on Thursday invited Singapore’s private sector to invest in Kenya’s under-exploited transport and logistics sectors.
Speaking in the joint address with visiting Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at State House Nairobi, the President said the move will check the low trade volumes and scale up our investments, thereby reducing the current trade deficit with Singapore.
“We have agreed to develop a long-term strategic partnership anchored in many sectors of our mutually beneficial relationships. We have discussed the potential of the Nairobi International Financial Centre serving sub-Sahara Africa, particularly Eastern and Central Africa, especially on green financing.
“I have also committed to Prime Minister that we will work with Enterprise Singapore to make sure they are able to build the necessary networks and partnerships between private sector companies in Kenya and Singapore to make sure we explore the full potential in trade and investments between our two countries,” the President said.
The President added that Kenya will consider Singapore’s strategic location in South East Asia as a gateway to its products.
President Ruto said the move is guided by the government’s commitment to expanding lucrative markets for its agricultural produce.
He said South Asia, made up of 10 countries and with a population of approximately 670 million, offers Kenya a “unique and massive” market to sell its goods.
Earlier, the two leaders held bilateral talks and witnessed the signing of MoUs on ICT, climate change and skills development.
President Ruto said the ICT agreement will facilitate cooperation on cybersecurity, digitization of government services and ICT capacity building.
He explained that the MoU on skills development will facilitate collaboration in human resource capacity building for civil servants and students.
Prime Minister Loong, on his part, noted that the signing of a climate change pact will build a collective action to deal with the “greatest existential threat to mankind”.
He appreciated the deep and warm relations that Singapore enjoys with Kenya.
“Our ties have been growing. We will further this by pursuing more economic opportunities that will stimulate our shared prosperity,” PM Loong said.
“Despite Covid-19, our bilateral trade in 2021 increased by almost a quarter year on year. Several Singapore countries are operating in Kenya in a variety of sectors, shaping logistics and transport businesses, agribusiness, hospitality and fintech solutions, amongst others,” the PM said.
He added that he had come with a delegation of companies seeking business and partnerships.
The PM noted that Kenya’s startegic location offers Singapore the gateway to East African region as Singapore does to South East Asia.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Attorney General Justin Muturi, Cabinet secretaries Alfred Mutua (Foreign Affairs), Eliud Owalo (ICT), Aisha Jumwa (Public Service), Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry’s Saipan Tuya, among other leaders were present.