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Saudi investors Search for Development Opportunities in Kenya

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- More than 30 investors from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday expressed interest in investing in various fields in Kenya especially in infrastructure, energy and agriculture.

The investors led by Saudi Arabia’s Commerce and Investment Minister Majed Bin Abdullah Al-qasabi expressed keen interest in investing in the country, noting the improved business environment created by the government.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who welcomed the Saudi business people to set shop in Kenya, assured them of this administration’s commitment to facilitate the smooth operation of their companies.

"We have taken deliberate efforts to create a conducive environment for foreign and domestic investment to thrive side by side.

"We urge you to take advantage of the huge opportunities that we have created, key among them being infrastructure projects," Kenyatta told the Saudi investors at a trade forum in Nairobi.

He emphasized the need for Saudi investors to make Kenya their investment destination of choice to bridge the balance of trade that is currently tilted in favour of the Arabian Peninsula State.

"We extend support to all foreign investors and will accord the same to business people from Saudi Arabia.

"It is my hope that your visit to Kenya will open channels of communication between our business communities that will lead to enhanced trade and investment relations," he said.

Kenyatta said the establishment of more Saudi companies would bolster the ongoing government’s efforts to create more jobs through the setting up of manufacturing plants.

The meeting also discussed the possibility of importing cheaper crude oil from Saudi Arabia and explored ways of creating an opening for Kenya to export cattle as well as beef products to the Arabian State.

During the meeting, Akkad Systems Limited of Kenya and the Kingdom Paints Company of Saudi Arabia signed an MOU on cooperation in paint distribution and retail manufacturing.

Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed assured the Saudi investors that investing in Kenya will open doors not only to the local market but also to the wider regional markets of the East African Community and COMESA with a population of more than 600 million people.

Kenya’s exports to Saudi Arabia include tea, coffee, vegetables, textile materials, fruits, nuts and beef among others while major imports include oil, molasses, chemical products and paper.



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