Kenya and Pakistan are set to review their 1983 Bilateral Trade Agreement to increase and sustain trade and investment, Trade Principal Secretary Ambassador Johnson Weru has said.
Speaking in a virtual meeting with Pakistan Minister of Commerce and Textile Muhammad Sualeh Faruqui, Weru also noted that the review will seek to diversify products traded between the two countries.
“In the virtual inaugural session of the Pakistan-Kenya Joint Trade Committee, the two sides agreed to step-up cooperation and exchange of information on trade and investment opportunities, and hold exhibitions, conferences and workshops to promote investment opportunities in both countries,” a statement by the Ministry of Trade said on Thursday.
Trade between the two countries has grown over the years from $283 million in 2008 to $700 million in 2019.
In 2018, Kenya’s exports to Pakistan amounted to $586 million, while it imported goods worth $212 million from Pakistan. In 2017 Pakistan was Kenya’s number one export destination and second in 2018.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visited Kenya from January 29-30, 2020 to participate in the Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference, jointly organised in Nairobi by the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce and Textile.
His delegation was co-led by Qureshi and federal minister Abdul Razak Dawood.
During the conference, President Uhuru Kenyatta called upon Kenyans and other African nations to use the opportunity to engage commercially and economically with Pakistan.
“The Foreign Minister’s visit to Kenya is part of concrete steps being taken to realize the Prime Minister’s vision of forging closer political and economic ties with the African Continent and placing a stronger accent on economic diplomacy,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry said.
Former Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma — now in Defence docket — visited Pakisatn in 208 and met then Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.
They discussed ways of enhancing and diversifying bilateral trade as well as promoting people-to-people contacts. CS Juma emphasized that the two countries should work on mutually beneficial areas of cooperation like agriculture, pharmaceuticals, youth development and defence cooperation.
“Between 2016 and 2017, our exports to Pakistan grew more than Sh20 billion more – which was more than a 30 per cent rise. Eighty per cent of this trade is one commodity –tea. Other exports are indicative of areas of growth – onions, carbonates, sacks and bags,” Juma said.