India's Modi warms up to Uhuru's invite

Friday January 15 2016

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks during a meeting with Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul on December 25, 2015. It comes a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a surprise visit to Pakistan, the first by an Indian premier in 11 years. PHOTO | AFP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks during a meeting with Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul on December 25, 2015. PHOTO | AFP 

By JAMES KARIUKI
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to visit Kenya this year after President Kenyatta said he would be glad if the Indian premier visited.

Mr Kenyatta has been keen to have Indians invest in Kenya especially in health care given that locals spend billions seeking treatment in India.

India’s High Commissioner to Kenya Ms Suchitra Durai said the move will further enhance trade between the two countries and help ease the trade imbalance where India exports goods worth Sh116 billion against Kenya’s Sh4 billion.

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Mr Kiprono Kittony expressed optimism saying partnerships formation was the best way to go for Kenyan companies to make inroads in the Indian market.

Ms Durai spoke at the Hotel Intercontinental Friday when she led a 20 man strong delegation of India-based agro-processors seeking fresh markets for their finished products.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority General Manager Mr Shamsher Singh Nayyar called for Kenya-India agro-processors’ and traders’ partnerships which would help expand the market for agro-foods manufactured in both countries.

“If Indian companies could develop similar facilities in Kenya, you would ease the pressure on Kenyans seeking treatment in India while at the same time expand your businesses,” Mr Kenyatta told the Indian leader last year.

This year will also see Nigeria's President and Egypt's Abdel Fattah el Sisi visit Kenya.