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Kenya, Israel move to shore up trade ties

Mutwiri Muriithi @mutwirimuriithi

Trade between Kenya and Israel is set to improve as the two countries seek to strengthen economic and commercial relations following a joint business meeting in Nairobi.

During the second session of Kenya-Israel Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting the two countries agreed to pursue possible partnerships and collaborations to boost economic and commercial relations. The first session of the Joint Trade Committee meeting was held in April 2017 in Jerusalem.

Speaking during the event at the Israel Embassy, Principal Secretary in charge of Trade Chris Kiptoo said strengthening commercial ties with Israel is expected to create an enabling environment for traders between the two states and attract foreign investors to Kenya.

Farming techniques

“Moreover, Kenya is set to leverage Israel’s strengths to support the Big Four agenda by borrowing from their innovations,” he added. Kiptoo said Israel’s highly developed farming techniques that have seen them become one of the world’s leading countries in agricultural development despite  not being in a naturally conducive geographical location will help Kenya to boost  its own food security.

“Such innovations will bring about substantial improvement in Kenya’s production of agricultural products such as tea, coffee, potatoes and horticultural products,” he said, adding that this would provide a lot of motivation for those in the agriculture industry to move on.

Israel’s Trade Commissioner, Ohad Cohen who led the country’s delegation to the event expressed his gratitude after the successful completion of the JTC meeting in Nairobi. “Hopefully, the next meeting between Kenya and Israel will take place late 2019 or early 2020,” he disclosed.

The negotiations are expected to link Kenyan traders with their Israeli counterparts, facilitate channels of doing business together in a bid to grow both economies and cement economic ties. Bilateral trade between Kenya and Israel has steadily grown in recent years although largely in favour of Israel.

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