Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta will on Thursday embark on a State visit to Mozambique to promote trade, especially on the blue economy.
Kenya will in November this year host a High-Level Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy.
The blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs while preserving the health of marine and coastal ecosystem.
The blue economy has been highlighted as a key sector in manufacturing, which is one of the pillars of Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.
Ahead of the visit, Ambassador Monica Juma, who is the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, said discussions in Mozambique will revolve around value addition in a number of areas, top among them being the blue economy.
“Mozambique is a sea-facing country as we are. There has been a growing interest in the Indian Ocean Rim, of which both Kenya and Mozambique are members. And so some of the discussions that are going to take place will be on how we can connect trade, how we can add value on our ocean, particularly on the blue economy,” said Ambassador Juma in Nairobi on Wednedsay.
Mozambique is part of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, an international organization comprising 21 coastal nations bordering the Indian Ocean.
Its objectives include promoting sustainable growth, balanced development and removal of impediments to the free flow of goods, services, investment and technology among member states.
Ambassador Juma dubbed the President’s State Visit to Mozambique: ‘Linking the Swahili Coast from Maputo to Lamu’, and that bilateral talks will feature cooperation between the two countries in boosting transport links to promote trade, as well as people-to-people interactions.
Trade between Kenya and Mozambique has continued to register steady growth over the years, with Kenya’s total export to Mozambique increasing from $ 6.61 million in 2007 to $ 11.8 million in 2017.
However, despite the two countries having signed a Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation agreement in 1991, trade volumes have remained below potential. It is expected that President Kenyatta’s visit to Mozambique will stimulate new impetus for increased trade between the two East African countries.
Kenya’s major exports to Mozambique include prefabricated buildings, plastic items, animal and vegetable fats, tableware, kitchenware, fruit and vegetable juices, among others.
There is potential for Kenya to export edible oils, tea, pharmaceuticals, beauty care products, packaging products, dairy products, textiles, apparel, leather products, construction materials, as well as capacity to export services, in general, and professional services, in particular.
Imports from Mozambique include sugar, molasses and honey, aluminium, coal and non-ferrous base metal, among others.
Source: Journal du Cameroun