Kenya: UAE looking to fill investment gap in infrastructure

Abu Dhabi November 24.2014 Geeska Markets — Kenya and the United Arab Emirates have entered into an investment promotion agreement that is expected to increase the volume of trade between the two countries. The agreement was signed by Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich for the Government of Kenya and the UAE Minister of state for financial Affairs Obaid Al Tayer Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

The Promotion and Protection of Investments agreement is bound to see more investments from UAE flowing into Kenya. Likewise, Kenyan companies will find it easier to do business in the UAE.

The agreement eases some restrictions and provides more assurance for investors in both countries by creating favourable conditions. Both countries will promote and encourage investments from the partner country while also offering reciprocal protection. “Investments by investors of either contracting party shall enjoy full protection and security in the territory of the other contracting party in accordance with the domestic laws of the host contracting party and the applicable rules of international law,” the agreement says.

Al Tayer said he was excited about the business opportunities that exist between Kenya and UAE. “We are excited about the opportunities in Kenya. This agreement will be a platform to encourage and strengthen the relationship between our two countries,” he said.

He said the agreement will give more confidence to private investors from both countries. Al Tayer said the two countries can work closely in boosting tourist numbers coming to Kenya through a partnership that will see visitors coming through UAE.

Rotich said Kenya requires investors in many areas especially the infrastructure sector which needs more than Sh100 billion investment on annual basis. “There is a huge investment gap in infrastructure and we also need investors in the energy sector where we are working on huge projects,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

Rotich said besides the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway line and expansion of the road network, Kenya also plans to invest more in making the port of Mombasa more efficient. The minister said Kenya’s economy was resilient despite the threats of terrorism and the government hopes to achieve double digits economic growth rates soon. Al Tayer said threats of terrorism face all countries and was not limited to Kenya alone.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed attended the meeting. Also at the meeting was the Solicitor General Njee Muturi and other senior UAE government officials.