NAIROBI – Kenya and India have launched the India Business Council in Kenya, a platform that will bring together Indian businesses in Kenya and contribute to strengthening economic ties.
The platform was launched on Wednesday, November 22, by Trade and Investment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano and visiting Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs Shri V. Muraleedharan.
CS Miano said Kenya presents a compelling investment landscape, with promising opportunities and a strategic location as it provides market access not only through the East Africa Community but also the African Continental Free Trade Area and AGOA, among other avenues.
“The IKBC will facilitate the exchange of valuable information on business, encourage joint ventures and technology transfer. The primary goal is to fortify bilateral relations and foster increased investments in both Kenya and India. Congratulations IKBC,” Miano said during the launch.
She urged participants to explore the numerous investment opportunities available in Kenya, adding that the country is not only a regional logistics and financial hub, but also serves as a pivotal gateway to Africa, making it an ideal investment destination.
“This forum plays a vital role as a bridge for our business communities. It’s an excellent platform for exploring the expansive possibilities that exist between our two nations,” she said.
India High Commissioner Namgya C. Khamp urged Indian investors to view Kenya strategically as a gateway to East Africa, recognize the country’s strength as a logistics hub and embrace the potential in the bilateral relations, which will assist in discovering new possibilities for mutual growth.
Muraleedharan was in Kenya for an official visit between November 22-23, and was accompanied by a 30-member business delegation drawn from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
He said India recognizes Kenya’s strategic location, presenting collaborative opportunities for mutual learning.
“We are dedicated to supporting trade and investment in Kenya and we are eagerly anticipating knowledge exchange and shared growth,” Muraleedharan added.
According to India High Commission in Nairobi, the visit was aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and expanding areas of cooperation.
The ministers described the partnership as natural and historical and underscored the benefits of increased trade and investment ties between the two states.
ICT and Digital Economy Principal Secretary Eng John Tanui also attended the launch and invited Indian companies to work in technology and digital transformation sphere.
Renu Vij, the Head of the CII delegation, said India is steadfastly strengthening its ties with Kenya, and that the Indian Community, a vital force in trade and investment, plays a pivotal role in Kenya’s economic landscape.
“With its immense potential spanning various sectors, Kenya stands rightfully positioned to spearhead economic growth across the African continent,” she said.
During the visit, the state minister held talks with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Minister Musalia Mudavadi.
“The discussions covered the multi-sectoral and diverse bilateral interaction and the shared desire to forge an even stronger partnership, laying emphasis on trade, investment, security and peace, people to people ties, multilateral cooperation and other common goals,” the high commission said in a statement.
“Other engagements of the Hon’ble Minister included inauguration of an exhibition to commemorate role of Indian Soldiers in East Africa during the World War 1 at National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi, releasing a book titled ‘The Indian Army in East Africa:1914-18‘, interaction with Indian community in Kenya, interaction with Indian Alumni in Kenya, tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at University of Nairobi and visit to BAPS Swaminarayan temple and Shri Gurudwara Ramgarhia Railway Landies in Nairobi, the oldest Gurudwara in Africa,” it added.
Following talks with Muraleedharan, DP Gachagua said Kenya’s relations with India continue to grow in, among other areas, education, health, science and technology, research, tourism and agro-based industries, real estate and construction and banking.