Strengthening Trade and Investment Ties: Kenya and Somalia Pledge to Boost Bilateral Relations.

Kenya and Somalia recently pledged to strengthen their ties and boost trade and investment to improve their economies. During a meeting between Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Somalia’s Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre in Nairobi, the two countries discussed cracking down on cartels and promoting fair trade practices for mutual benefit.

The visit followed the third Session of the Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) held in Nairobi from May 3 to 5, 2024. Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi stated that both leaders are committed to enhancing trade relations and recognizing the potential for synergy in resources, goods, services, and personnel between the two nations.

The meeting took place at the Deputy President’s Official Residence in Karen and was attended by senior officials from both countries. Gachagua highlighted the need to bolster bilateral trade despite the historical and cultural ties between Kenya and Somalia.

He pointed out that in 2022, Kenya exported $124.5 million worth of goods to Somalia while importing $581.7 thousand. Gachagua expressed confidence in increasing trade volumes by capitalizing on the Kenya-Somalia relationship for the benefit of their citizens.

The leaders also agreed to work towards removing barriers for the movement of people and goods, encouraging investment, and exploring new markets of interest. Gachagua urged the Chambers of Commerce to establish a Memorandum of Understanding to improve interactions between the private sectors of both countries.

The enhanced relations between Kenya and Somalia are expected to promote economic prosperity for both nations. With Somalia’s admission into the East African Community integration process, Deputy President Gachagua believes the country will benefit from regional infrastructure projects that will enhance connectivity and boost trade.

Discussions between the two leaders encompassed defense, security, immigration, economy, education, transportation, infrastructure, and political affairs, among other topics. They tasked their respective ministries with initiating MoUs to collaborate on crop development, livestock health, and marketing for sustainable agricultural and livestock growth.

Both leaders emphasized the importance of implementing concluded agreements and instructed the relevant ministries to develop implementation strategies. Ongoing talks aim to finalize various bilateral instruments in areas such as internal security, trade, standards, agriculture, health, education, cultural cooperation, and sports.

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