Source:Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
NAIROBI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will on Thursday start a visit to Russia and China as part of initiatives by the Jubilee government to grow new markets that focus on the Far East.
Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu said while in Moscow, President Kenyatta who will also be accompanied by first lady Margaret will hold discussions with business leaders to be dominated by Kenya's emerging role as a new frontier for oil and gas and mineral wealth.
"It will also feature Kenya's drive to open new markets for its traditional exports such as coffee, tea, and fresh produce," Esipisu said in a statement released in Nairobi on Wednesday ahead of the visit.
He said discussions in Moscow will also focus on new investment areas, with growth in innovation and technology offering phenomenal opportunities.
The East African nation is also seeking to grow its export market as part of employment creation to ensure that the government complies with the constitutional requirement that guarantees the right to employment for every citizen.
Nairobi and Moscow had agreed in the past to forge closer ties and expand areas of cooperation between the two countries.
The two nations are facilitating exchange of business delegations and have invited Russian businessmen in the country to explore investment opportunities and network with their Kenyan counterparts.
Russian companies are interested in investing in infrastructural development for the planned construction of Lamu port
Esipisu said the visits to Russia and China are important to Kenya in the context of the policy to look "East," which Kenyatta takes to mean a focus on opening new markets or deepening existing relations in the traditional Indian Ocean Rim, other countries such as Australia and Singapore, and the emerging constituency of powers from developing countries known as BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The presidential spokesman said President Kenyatta and the first lady will also visit Kenya's athletics team at the World Championships.
"The President and First Lady have been very impressed by the performance of our men and women so far and will be on hand to personally wish them more gold. He hopes to see Kenya add to its gold tally," he said.
The president will make his first official visit to China on Aug. 19-23 at the invitation of the Chinese government. Esipisu said the visit will be dominated by discussions on business and investment.
"A business delegation of more than 60 people -- who are paying their own bills in full -- will be at hand to join the President on this leg of his tour. It includes some of the most prominent personalities in industry," he said.
The delegation also has five governors and some members of both Houses of Parliament. He said China is an important trading partner and has massive investments in the country, especially in infrastructure, telephony and technology.
"While in China, President Kenyatta will sign framework agreements on a power transmission project for our nation's capital Nairobi. He will also sign other agreements on economic and technical cooperation," the spokesman said.
The president will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding on environment protection between China's Ministry of Environment and Kenya's Ministry of Environment. Esipisu said Kenyatta will also review a number of projects under discussion between Kenya and China -- key among them the 2.5 billion U. S. dollars construction of a Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Malaba and the 1.755 billion dollars High Grand Multi-Purpose Dam project.
The president and first lady will also visit several Chinese regions to witness the latest developments in agribusiness, as well as technology. They include the city of Shenzhen, globally known for its electronics.
Kenya's first family on the way back will have a stopover in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where the president will have further discussions on promoting Kenya's trade agenda.
More than 37,000 Kenyans live and work in the United Arab Emirates, mostly employed in the construction and hospitality industries.
Kenya engages in 1.3 billion dollars worth of trade annually with the United Arab Emirates. Kenyans working in the Gulf country send home an estimated 10 million dollars in remittances each year, the bulk of which comes from Dubai.