President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Park Geun-Hye has held bilateral talks where they agreed to fast-track multi-billion shilling agreements signed between Kenya and Korea.
They urged the relevant ministries and government agencies involved to speed up the process of implementing pacts signed in order to deepen the existing bilateral relations.
President Kenyatta said there is need for the two governments to consolidate their partnership in priority areas of cooperation such as energy, integrated rural and urban development and human development.
The President said the priority areas allow for collaboration in energy, transport, ICT, agriculture, education and science and technology projects.
President Kenyatta said Kenya has a lot to learn from the Korean expertise and experiences as this will help the country to successful implement its national development priorities based on the Kenya Vision 2030 blueprint.
Areas of cooperation which the President called for further engagement include, Trade and Investment, Education, Information, Communication and Technology and Cooperation in Sports and Culture.
On trade and investment, President Kenyatta said there has been steady growth in volume of trade between the two countries standing at Ksh 29.10 billion in 2014.
He however pointed out the trade balance is in favour of Korea and that the gap can be reduced by allowing more Kenyan products to access the Korean market.
“These include cut flowers, coffee, black tea, and fresh produce such as mangoes, avocadoes, pineapples among others, which are world class products and are traded in international markets. We believe that an increase of exports would improve trade relations between our countries,” said President Kenyatta.
He noted that the government is eager to enter a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of cooperation in Electric Power and Nuclear Energy Development with the Government of Korea.
“Korea is already training 14 Kenyan students at the Kepco International Nuclear Graduate School (KINGS),” said President Kenyatta.
To date, said the President, investment in the Energy sector, particularly by Korean companies has enhanced Kenya’s generation of power.
The President pointed out that the Korean Government has helped in the rehabilitation of primary schools in Nairobi, Nakuru and Thika.
The Head of State said his government supports the ongoing dialogue between relevant authorities of the two countries charged with the establishment of Kenya Advance Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) at Konza Techno City.
The Korean President responded by saying Kenya is a regional economic power and has great influence.
She said her Government will help Kenya achieve its vision 2030 by increasing trade and business investment.
On importation of horticultural and other agricultural products to Korea, President Park said her government will consult quarantine authorities and agree on what needs to be done.
She said Korean firms are keen in participating on the LAPSSET and Vision 2030 projects so as to support Kenya achieve its development agenda.
The meeting was attended by Deputy President William Ruto and Cabinet Secretaries.
Meanwhile, Kenya Tuesday signed seven pacts with South Korea, boosting its effort to become an economic, industrial and technological powerhouse in the region.
In one of the pacts, the Korea Export-Import Bank will pump an initial Ksh 5 billion to support the agricultural sector to improve Kenya’s food security.
The memorandum with the Korean Bank was signed for Kenya by agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Park Geun-hye, who had earlier chaired a bilateral meeting, witnessed the signing of the bilateral pacts at State House, Nairobi.
The MOUs were on cooperation in science and technology, e-Government, industry, trade and investment.
Others were on cooperation in health, innovation and higher education, and electric power and nuclear energy development.
The MOU on scientific and technological cooperation – signed by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Korea’s Foreign Affairs Minister Yun Byung-se – entails sharing of policies and technologies in the fields of science and technology between the two countries.
It also involves implementing exchanges between research and development institutes in Kenya and South Korea.
Under this MOU, Kenya and South Korea will also exchange human resources through education and training programs. It will also promote partnerships between Kenya and Korea on the development of smart city solutions.
The pact on cooperation in e-Government will see Kenya and South share best practices and technical exchanges to increase efficiency and effectiveness of Government services for the benefit of the people of the two countries. Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed signed the MOU for Kenya.
Industry, Trade and Cooperative Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed and Korean Minister for Trade, Industry and Trade Joo Hyunghwan signed the MOU on cooperation in industry, trade, investment and industrial complex development. The MOU will see Kenya and South Korea work together in developing their textiles, food processing, leather processing, automobiles and electronics industries. The two countries will also cooperate in developing industrial complexes and special economic zones.
The MOU on electric power and nuclear energy development was signed by Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter and Korean Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Joo Hyunghwan.
By signing this MOU, Kenya is set to benefit from Korea’s expertise in power generation. Korea has a unique model of power development that has ensured stable supply of electricity through continuous constructions and safe operations of power plants.
Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu and Korean Health and Welfare Minister Chung Chinyoub inked the MOU on health that seeks to scale up the two countries’ cooperation in diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases. Kenya will also benefit from Korea’s support in screening and cryo-therapy for cervical cancer, diagnostics capacity building for imaging and nuclear medicine.
Education Cabinet Secretary Matiang’i and Konza Technopolis Development Authority CEO John Tanui signed an MOU with the Export-Import Bank of Korea that supports the on-going Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology Project.
Source: Nam News Network