Seeking to address Kenya’s concerns, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday India will work to reduce the trade imbalance with it and assured the African nation that the effort would be to strengthen its processes and enrich its resources.
Addressing the joint meeting of Indian and Kenyan business leaders here just before winding up his two-day visit here, he also pitched for enhanced cooperation in the field of solar energy, which he described as the best way to fight global warming.
Emphasising that enhanced bilateral economic ties would be a “win-win” situation, he said India was now the “most preferred destination” for investments as he highlighted the changes in the business environment effected in the country over the last two years since his government took office.
“India is the largest trading partner of Kenya and second largest investor. We will be happy to reduce the trade imbalance and also enhance the level of business,” Modi told the India-Kenya Business Forum meeting in presence of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“We have initiated the programme ‘Make in India’ to make India the global hub of manufacturing. You too have ‘Make in Kenya’... It does not matter if you make in Kenya or make in India,” he said.
His comments assume significance as Kenya has been concerned about the huge imbalance of trade in favour of India.
The bilateral trade stood at $4.2 billion in 2014-15. The major items of exports from India to Kenya are pharmaceuticals, machinery, steel products, power transmission equipment, yarn, and automobiles while Kenya exports tea, vegetables, leather, soda ash and scrap metal to India.
Kenya’s State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu had said yesterday that Kenya will urge that its goods be granted preferential status by the Indian authorities to reduce the trade imbalance.
“I assure Kenya that India will always work to strengthen your processes and enrich your resources,” Modi said.
Referring to rich mineral reserves in Kenya, he said there should be joint exploration of these.
Modi left for home late on Monday after concluding his four-nation Africa tour aimed at enhancing ties with the continent.