Kenya and India have continued to build bilateral trade relations with the ceramic business between the two countries increasing by 27 per cent in the past one year.
India’s High Commissioner to Kenya Dr. Virander Paul called for the support of businessmen from both India and Kenya especially through trade exhibitions where business owners from both countries can come together and showcase their products, services and innovations.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) during the opening ceremony of the Ceramics Africa trade fair, Dr. Paul said that India is one of the top countries in trade and one of the biggest investment partners to Kenya.
He also acknowledged the effects of Covid-19 to businesses and business owners for the past two years but stated that ceramic trade between Kenya and India surprisingly increased by about 27 per cent.
He explained that trade in ceramics products has increased from 15 million dollars in 2020 to 27 million dollars in 2021 and this represents a total 27 per cent of Kenya’s import of the same commodity.
“Bilateral trade between Kenya and India has grown to 2.66 billion dollars in 2021 up from 2.1 billion dollars the previous year,” said Dr. Paul adding that on the road to post Covid-19 recovery, experts are saying that the two economies are set to continue on a growth trajectory.
At the same time, he said that the expo is a good opportunity for investors and stakeholders to discuss new possibilities of furthering trade between the two States and create tremendous opportunities for many.
Chairman of the Town and County Planners Association of Kenya Mairura Omwenga commended the long-term relationship between India and Kenya indicating that India has been a major player of the business environment in Kenya.
“This expo is just but the beginning of the growth of the building and construction industry not only in Kenya but also in the entire African region,” assured Omwenga.
Further, he encouraged the investors and the exhibitors present by stating that the growth of towns will expand the building and construction sector due to the construction of new buildings and therefore demand for ceramic materials will increase.
Secretary General of Indian Ceramic Society Dr. Chandresh Agarwal stated that they would like to open up a branch in East Africa to create more opportunities and expand the ceramic sector in the region.
“Nairobi is a perfect choice for multinational companies and can be used as a gateway to get to other countries in the East African region,” Agarwal said.
The three-day expo is meant to showcase a variety of ceramic products which include; tiles (floor, wall and vitrified) and sanitary ware.
By Teresa Rurigi and Maureen Wanjiru