The 9th Session of the India-Kenya Joint Trade Committee (JTC) was held on 19th – 20th August 2019 in New Delhi. The Indian delegation was led by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyal. The Kenyan delegation was led by Peter Munya, Minister of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Government of the Republic of Kenya.
Piyush Goyal highlighted that India and Kenya enjoy a close and cordial relation. He underscored the friendship and solidarity, strategic partnership and multifaceted- cooperation between the two countries. Relationship between India and Kenya has now evolved into a robust partnership, marked by regular high-level visits, increasing trade and investment as well as extensive people to people contacts, the Commerce and Industry Minister added.
In his remarks, Peter Munya, Minister of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Government of the Republic of Kenya, thanked the Indian Government for a warm reception, hospitality and successful hosting of the 9th Session of the India-Kenya Joint Trade Committee. Peter Munya observed that India has a long history of trading relationswith Kenyaand also hoped for a fair balance of trade between the two countries. In this regard, he emphasized the need to facilitate the movement of people, goods and services based on reciprocity.
Both sides acknowledged that the JTC is an ideal framework for trade and economic expansion between the two countries and reaffirmed their commitments to deepen the trade and economic ties further.
Both sides reviewed the developments in their bilateral trade and noted the trends since the last session of the India-Kenya JTC held in August 2018. In 2018-19 India’s top items of exports were petroleum products, drug formulations, biological and industrial machinery for dairy, paper, paper board and products, plastic raw materials, two and three-wheelers, iron and steel, manmade yarn, fabrics made-ups, books, publications and printing, electric machinery and equipment. On the import side, it was inorganic chemicals, pulses, coffee, drug formulations, biologicals, copper and products made of copper, wood products, aluminium, products of aluminium, tea and finished leather. Both sides stressed the need to enhance trade relations and also to diversify the trade basket.
Both sides expressed their willingness to explore trade opportunities in sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, agro-processing, floriculture, aquaculture, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and in products such as base metals & articles thereof, textiles & textiles articles, vegetables and horticultural products, plastics & rubber, chemical products and machinery & mechanical appliances. They agreed to explore possibilities of exchange of information on investment opportunities, investment-related laws and regulations and exchange of business missions. Kenya welcomed the proposal on investment from India with the hope that it will provide a framework to guide investment flows from both sides. Further, Kenya informed India that there are investment opportunities in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of Kenya.
Both sides recalled the productive discussions held in the 2ndmeeting of India-Kenya Joint Technical Committee (JTC) on Housing, held in Nairobi on 30th May 2019, on the sidelines of the 1st UN-HABITAT Assembly and agreed to expand cooperation in the field of housing through capacity building of Kenyan officials. It was also decided to share the policies and best practices in the area mutually and to organize a Conference on Housing in India and exploring partnership between Kenya Institute of Housing and Building Technology (KIHBT) and Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), India.
Indian and Kenyan delegations also agreed to expand the MoU signed between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the Government of the Republic of Kenya on cooperation in the field of National Housing Policy Development and Management on 11th July 2016 to strengthen cooperation in the areas of sustainable urban development including smart cities, water and waste management and urban mobility. Kenya requested for technical assistance to support the implementation of Kenyan urban and affordable housing programmes. The Indian side said that it is open to provide all kinds of technical support in the housing sector.
Progress in cooperation in the power sector, renewable energy, petroleum and natural gas, civil aviation and agricultural research was also reviewed during the 9th session of JTC meeting.
It was agreed to hold the next session of the Joint Trade Committee meeting in Nairobi to be decided mutually through diplomatic channels within the next two years.