India has pledged Ksh4.5 billion credit to Kenya to revive the Rift Valley Textile Industry and promote development of small and medium enterprises.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the signing of two agreements after their bilateral talks at State House, Nairobi. The Kenyan delegation included Deputy President William Ruto and several Cabinet Secretaries.
The two pacts – which were part of the seven deals signed today – were Line of Credit Agreement for $15 million (Ksh 1.5 billion) to IDB Capital Limited for development of small scale and medium enterprises and Line of Credit Agreement for $29.95 million (Ksh2.99 billion) to Kenya to upgrade the Rift Valley Textiles (Rivatex) factory.
Other agreements were on exemption of Visa for holder Diplomatic Passports holders, and avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
Three MOUs on defence cooperation, cooperation in housing policy development and management, and on the Bureau of India Standards and Kenya Bureau of Standards were also signed.
Addressing the press later, President Kenyatta expressed optimism that the bilateral agreements will boost cooperation between the two countries in defence, tourism, immigration, agriculture and trade.
The President also appreciated the offer by India to fund the construction and equipping of a cancer hospital in Kenya. “The Government of India has also offered support to Kenya in the area of health; an area in which their expertise and leadership is globally respected,” President Kenyatta said.
The President said he looked forward to the completion of the cancer hospital, saying it will bring quality and affordable treatment closer to Kenyans.
President Kenyatta disclosed that the bilateral talks dwelt on expansion of health cooperation between the two countries.
He said today’s talks have begun the dialogue on knowledge transfers and pharmaceutical technology. “One of the other things we hope to do, eventually, is create a pharmaceutical drug manufacturing capacity here in Kenya, with the support of India,” the President said. “Such an effort would help us produce life-saving drugs needed by so many of our citizens, including ARVs.”
He said Kenya and India were also keen on exploring cooperation in sports where the two countries have much to teach each other – India, in cricket and Kenya in athletics.
“India also plans to host the Festival of India here in Kenya later this year, and we look forward to supporting that exciting initiative, and to strengthening the people-to-people interactions that are truly the bedrock of our bilateral relationship,” President Kenyatta said.
Prime Minister Modi said Kenya is a true friend and trusted partner of India. “The bonds between the two countries are long-standing and rich. Our historical people-to-people ties provide a strong basis to our wide-ranging partnership,” Prime Minister Modi said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that India is Kenya’s largest trading partner and the second largest investor but “there is potential to achieve much more. “As a true and trusted partner, India is ready to share its development experiences, expertise and capacities to assist in Kenya,” the Prime Minister said.