PM’s statement to media, during the joint media briefing with President of Kenya
Your Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta,
Members of the Media,
Exactly six months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Kenya. President Kenyatta and the people of Kenya received me with great warmth and genuine affection. And, today I am delighted to welcome President Kenyatta and his delegation in India. The close association between our two countries is, of course, much older. India and Kenya fought together against colonialism. Just last month, President Kenyatta recognized the contribution of Makhan Singh, an Indian born trade union leader, joining hands with his Kenyan brothers to help overthrow the colonial order in Kenya. Common belief in democratic values, our shared developmental priorities and the warm currents of the Indian Ocean bind our societies.
In our discussions today, President and I reviewed the full range of our relationship. During my visit to Kenya last year, we had identified deepening of economic cooperation as one of the key focus areas of our efforts. In this context, expansion of bilateral trade, greater flow of capital between two economies, and stronger developmental partnership are a priority. Yesterday, President Kenyatta led a strong and high level delegation to the eighth Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit. Your participation in Vibrant Gujarat has generated a strong interest in Indian businesses to connect with commercial and investment opportunities in Kenya. We want, and will encourage, industry and business in both countries to take lead in exploiting opportunities in healthcare, tourism, information technology, agriculture, blue economy and energy. The Joint Business Council meeting tomorrow will work to build commercial engagement through specific projects in these areas. To boost trade, we are also cooperating on trade facilitation measures, including standardization and related areas. Broad based and wide ranging cooperation in agriculture and food security is our shared priority. We are collaborating to raise agricultural productivity in Kenya. The Line of Credit Agreement of $100 million signed for agricultural mechanisation today would open a new dimension of engagement. Long term arrangement with Kenya for production and import of pulses is being explored and discussed. We would also be happy to share best practises in organic farming with Kenyan farmers. In the health sector, Bhabhatron machine has been delivered to the Kenyatta National Hospital for cancer treatment. Related capacity building of the Kenyan doctors is being undertaken under our India Africa Forum Summit initiative. Partnership in Education is creating new connections between our people. We have a strong relationship with the University of Nairobi, where a Chair for Indian Studies has been established by ICCR, and renovation of its library is also being undertaken with Indian assistance. On energy, we value Kenya’s support to the International Solar Alliance, and our joint efforts to harness the energy of the sun to power our economic growth.
The challenges in the Maritime domain are a shared concern. But we would also explore opportunities in blue economy. We are focused on quick operationalization of our defence cooperation. Some of the specific areas of priority would be hydrography, communications networks, anti-piracy, capacity building, exchanges and defence medical cooperation. We are also partnering to strengthen our security cooperation and capacities. In this context, we have directed the Joint Working Group to meet early. It would focus on cyber security, counter terrorism, combating drugs, narcotics, human trafficking and money laundering.
The large Indian-origin community of Kenya is a vital and energetic link between us. I have discussed with President Kenyatta ways to engage them with our trade, investments and cultural exchanges. In our meeting last year, President and I had also agreed to accord close and personal supervision of the implementation of our decisions. We need to ensure its continuing rigour .
Once again, on behalf of the people of India and on my own behalf, I thank you for accepting our invitation and honouring us with your presence, both in Gujarat and in Delhi.
Thank you very much.