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Kenya and Egypt launch joint business council to boost trade

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenya-Egypt Joint Business Council was launched on Monday to boost bilateral trade between the two African countries, officials said.

Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo told a media briefing in Nairobi that the council was operationalized following negotiations between the Chamber of Commerce from the two countries.

“The Kenya-Egypt Joint Business Council will help to develop business networks, encourage the business people to engage each other on a business to business basis, as well as share business information so as to enhance economic ties,” Kiptoo said during the Kenya-Egypt Business Forum.

An Egyptian trade mission comprising of 55 companies is currently visiting Kenya to look for business opportunities. This is the second Kenya-Egypt Business Forum held in Nairobi, following one held in January 2015.

Kenya government data indicates that bilateral trade reached approximately 550 million U.S. dollars in 2016, with the trade being in favor of Egypt.

Kenya exports are limited to a number of products with tea accounting for 85 percent of Kenya’s total exports to Egypt.

However, Egypt sells to the east African nation diversified products ranging from pharmaceutical, chemical and petroleum products. He said that Kenya commands a very minimal market share of 0.3 percent in the Egyptian market. Currently, Egypt is Kenya’s ninth largest export market.

Egypt Ambassador to Kenya Mahmoud Talaat said that the Kenya-Egypt Joint Business Council will help to enhance trade and investment between the two countries.

Talaat said that the level of Egyptian investment in Kenya is minimal when compared to the long historical ties.

“However there is great political will amongst the two countries to increase investment cooperation,” he said, adding that Egypt’s business community is keen to invest in Kenya’s agricultural, meat and renewable energy sectors.

According to the envoy, a double taxation agreement as well as an investment protection pact will soon be signed between the two nations.

“These agreements are likely to be signed during an upcoming joint committee meeting to be held in Egypt,” he said.



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