It also provides a platform for reviewing joint investment opportunities between businessmen, in pursuit of achieving distinct economic partnerships between Sharjah, Uganda, and Kenya, in addition to promoting the development of exports of production facilities in Sharjah.
Held at the Kempinski Hotel Nairobi, the forum was attended by HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, SCCI’s Chairman, HE Johnson Wiru, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya, HE Richard Ngatia, President of the Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, HE Mohammed Rashid Dimas, SCCI’s Board Member, and HE Nasser Mussabah Al Tunaiji, SCCI’s Board Member.
Attending also were Abdul Aziz Shattaf, SCCI’s Assistant General Director, Members Services Sector and Director of Sharjah Exports Development Center (SEDC), Sultan Shattaf, Director of Business Development & Marketing, Expo Centre Sharjah, Lamia Abdulrahman Al Jasmi, Senior Executive of National Industries Development and Sultan Abdullah Al Ali, National Industries Development Executive, Sharjah Export Development Center, and a number of officials from public and private sector institutions in Kenya, and a crowd of Emirati and Kenyan businessmen and investors.
Kenya is in the Spotlight of the UAE Business
In his opening keynote, HE Richard Ngatia said that the relationship between Kenya and UAE is a distinctive one, and that Kenya’s strategic location paves the way for penetrating the regional markets in East Africa, and reach a number of consumers up to 150 million people, thanks to Kenya's infrastructure and its sophisticated business environment, where the country now ranks 56th in the world among 190 countries and fourth in Africa after Mauritius, Morocco and Rwanda.
Kenya is also a leading market for consumer goods, as well as skilled and multi-skilled human resources, he added.
While expressing his hope to make the best use of this forum to make Kenya the UAE’s center of attention in East Africa, Ngatia called on businessmen in Sharjah to explore Kenya’s investment opportunities in the fields of energy, infrastructure, oil and gas, livestock, fishing, export of industrial labor, health care, pharmaceuticals, education, vocational and technical training, information and communication technology and innovation, transport and logistics, agribusiness, and agriculture, underlining that the Kenyan Chamber is providing all facilities and possibilities available to support cooperation between the private sector on both sides.
Thanking the SCCI for organizing the trade mission for the fifth year and the Chamber’s role in creating serious partnerships and economic cooperation, the President of Kenyan Chamber reiterated the importance of the joint work to overcoming challenges facing the private sector in both sides and expanding cooperation areas between both sides.
Distinctive Bilateral Relations
In his remarks, HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais expressed his happiness for the renewal of the meeting, stressing the depth of the official bilateral and historical relations, the strong cultural and humanitarian ties, and the growing economic interests between the business communities in both friendly countries.
Al Owais stated that the organization of the Fifth Trade Mission is the fruit of the distinguished bilateral relations between the two friendly countries in all fields, which were and will remain deeply rooted with the blessing and patronage of the leadership of the two countries.
He added: “The UAE and Kenya have great potential, high competitive traits and enormous opportunities for cooperation between businessmen and investors in both countries, which would serve the interest of the business community effectively if properly invested. This forum is a perfect opportunity for fostering relations and strengthening joint efforts. This would help elevate the volume of non-oil trade exchange between the UAE and Kenya, which has witnessed a quantum leap in the last years, reaching US $ 2 billion in 2017-2018, a growth rate Approximately 37% compared to previous years.”
Enhancing Investment Prospects
“We, at the Sharjah Chamber, are keen to enhance investment and business prospects with Kenya as a regional hub for finance and commerce in East Africa and a business gateway to the region. Likewise, the Emirate of Sharjah is a regional hub and a gateway to Gulf and Middle East Markets. I would like to seize this opportunity to invite the Kenyan business community to invest in Sharjah as an attractive destination for investors from all over the world, thanks to its outstanding strategic location, infrastructure and logistics, motivational investment environment, economic diversity, and pioneering projects in new sectors,” Al Owais elaborated.
He concluded: “I would like to reaffirm that Sharjah Chamber is the best representative and supporter of Sharjah’s private sector and it will be keen to provide all the support and facilities that ensure the success of the Kenyan businessmen and investors and help them penetrate the neighboring markets.”
The UAE-Kenya Trade and Investment Forum was rounded off by signing a cooperation agreement by the SCCI and its Kenyan counterpart.
The agreement was signed by HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, SCCI, and Richard Ngatia, Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The agreement stipulates the promotion of developing bilateral economic relations by providing a platform for businessmen to meet, discuss and explore trade and investment opportunities, in addition to enhancing areas of cooperation between the two chambers for the benefit of members of the private sector and leading entrepreneurs.
The agreement also stipulates that each party shall cooperate in promoting the interest of the other party to strengthen and develop trade and economic relations, as well as the joint work to organize a trade mission to both countries and take part in the economic activities, and other events to be held by both sides.
Souvenirs were exchanged between both sides on the sidelines of the signing ceremony.
Expo Centre Highlights its Services
The trade mission also featured a tour of the accompanying exhibition, which included platforms for the Emirati companies, where they held bilateral meetings with their Kenyan counterparts to make deals and establish bilateral investment partnerships by introducing them to the nature and quality of the products and services offered.
This would help promote the development of Sharjah's exports, encourage and bolster local industries, and discover promising markets.
On the other hand, Expo Centre Sharjah reviewed the most prominent exhibitions and events hosted by the Center annually, which enabled it to establish itself as one of the most prominent hubs in the industry of exhibitions and conferences, by attracting various international exhibitions to the Emirate of Sharjah, taking advantage of the Emirate's status which has become one of the leading cities in the exhibition industry in the region.
The Center also highlighted the advantages of its infrastructure and logistics support for exhibitors, and the level of exhibitions it organizes and hosts annually, which is an important platform for Kenyan companies to promote and market their products in both local and regional markets.
Etihad Credit Insurance, ECI, also participated in the accompanying exhibition, highlighting export insurance services that provide added value to exporting companies and ensure the mechanism of import and export movement, and its positive impact on motivating companies to establish trade partnerships, which reflects on the volume of trade exchanges between Sharjah in particular and the UAE in general and Kenya.
The trade mission’s second destination will be witnessing the UAE – Uganda Forum and organizing bilateral meetings between Emirati businessmen and their counterparts in Uganda.
For further information, please contact:
Osama Al Ansari
© Press Release 2019