Kenya is exploring ways of increasing direct investments in technology, research in medicine, agriculture and other sectors from India to create more jobs and opportunities for the youth.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua revealed this when he received India’s Parliamentary delegation led by the Speaker of the Lower House Mr Om Birla at his Harambee House Annex office.
Gachagua said Kenya has enjoyed longstanding ties with the Asian county, and there is need to deepen trade ties for mutual benefit.
“The medical facilities in India have helped many Kenyans. We welcome you to set up industries and research institutions to create jobs for our youth,” the Deputy President said.
Gachagua said the Kenyan embassy in New Delhi will be tasked with marketing the investment opportunities in Kenya, especially in technology, agriculture and other forms of innovation.
Birla said India is rapidly growing in technology, more so in defense, infrastructure development, therefore, it is an opportunity for further collaboration between the two countries
Trade between Kenya and India grew from Sh97.44 billion in 2008 to Sh241.43 billion in 2021. Kenyan exports to India stood at Sh10.42 billion in 2021.
The goods included dried leguminous vegetables, carbonates, tea, wool, scrap metal, waste and scrap copper, zinc articles, precious and semi-precious stones coffee, among others.
In the same year, India’s exports to Kenya were valued at about Sh231.01 billion. The imports to Kenya included medicaments, petroleum oils, semi-finished products of iron or non-alloy steel, motorcycles, rice, motor vehicles paper and paper board, tractors, ethylene, polymers, among others.
In this regard, the Deputy President noted the need of exploring more collaboration and partnership for mutual benefit.
“We need to strengthen our ties to deal with the current imbalance, which is in favor of India,” Mr Gachagua said.
The call for more investment from India falls within the Kenya Kwanza Plan of industrialization as one of the ways of creating opportunities for the more than 7 million job seekers in the country.
Investment in technology is also poised to drive the digital economy, which is central to President William Ruto’s administration.
More than 60 companies from India have penetrated various sectors in Kenya such as manufacturing, real estate, pharmaceuticals, Telecommunication and information technology, banking and agriculture.
This makes the country the second largest investor in Kenya with a value of about USD 3.5 billion.
The Speaker invited Mr Gachagua, for a visit to India for deeper engagements for further collaboration opportunities.