NAIROBI – Czech Republic will establish a commercial hub in Nairobi and use Kenya’s geostrategic advantage as a regional gateway to Africa to enhance trade and investments.
The Central European country will also establish a business council in Kenya to serve as a platform for bilateral private sector consultations.
This emerged on Tuesday during bilateral talks between President William Ruto and Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who is in the country for an official visit, the first ever by a Czech head of government to Kenya since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1993. The last high-level visit was in September 2011 by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
President Ruto said there is immense potential to broaden and deepen bilateral partnerships.
“In our bilateral meeting today, we held in-depth discussions on ways of enhancing trade and investment. We have shared ideas on new opportunities to expand commercial exchange and improve the balance of trade between our two countries. I take this opportunity to encourage the business delegation accompanying H.E. the Prime Minister to explore the huge untapped investment opportunities in Kenya,” the President said.
He noted that Czech Republic’s decision to establish a business hub in Kenya will expose it to a 400 million-market in the East African Community, 750 million-market in the Tripartite Free Trade Area and more than 1.4 billion-market in the African Continental Free Trade Area.
On his part, PM Fiala said Kenya plays an important role in East Africa and the relations between the two countries, especially in the field of security and defense cooperation, are excellent.
“There is great potential to expand them further. We agreed that Czech companies can help Kenya with the development of geothermal energy. We also see potential in IT, science and research, healthcare or agriculture,” the PM said.
Following the Czech-Kenya Business Forum on Monday attended by more than 120 companies from the two countries, President Ruto said he is confident the two states will attain higher levels of commercial and trade activities.
Additionally, Ruto said Kenya and the Czech Republic are working in concert on biodiversity conservation on saving the Northern White Rhino from extinction in collaboration with the Ol Pajeta Conservancy in Nanyuki.
A new phase of enhanced partnership by holding further political consultations convened by the two foreign ministries was agreed to solidify bilateral relations.
The two leaders also called for an end to raging conflicts in Sudan, Ukraine, Israel and Gaza- and a return to the path of peaceful resolution through dialogue.