President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for more partnership between Kenya and American Small and Medium Enterprises to unlock trade potential.
President Kenyatta spoke when addressing the US Chamber of Commerce Global Leaders’ Forum on Economic recovery on Tuesday evening. He said the partnerships had a real opportunity of unlocking the trade potential between the two countries.
Mutually beneficial agreements
The President invited the American SMEs to invest in Kenya by having mutual agreements with Kenyan businesses. The partnerships, he said, could change livelihoods at the grassroots level.
President Kenyatta said that they were not asking big companies not to come but were calling on American SMEs since they could propel inclusive growth.
“They (big companies) are already here,” Kenyatta said, “but they don’t have the capacity to propel inclusive growth as the small and medium enterprises which have a much greater capacity to affect lives and change livelihoods at the grassroots level.”
President Kenyatta added that Kenya provided a ready market for US products. Its expanding economy, backed by a ‘highly skilled labour force,’ was prepared to take up American investments and technology.
“I believe this is a mutually beneficial agreement which offers investment opportunities and great returns for American companies while also offering job opportunities to Kenyans.”
Kenyatta also said that Kenya remains keen on concluding the negotiations for a free trade agreement with the United States. He said that it underscored the importance of the private sector in Kenya’s economic growth and creation of jobs.
COVID-19 vaccine availability
The President also called on the United States and other wealthy nations to make COVID-19 vaccines available for African countries. He said that world economies would not recover until everybody was safe.
“Vaccine availability is going to be critical in getting the world economy back to its feet,” Kenyatta said.
The US Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President, Myron Brilliant, assured Kenyatta of the association’s commitment to Kenya-US free trade and COVID-19 containment measures.