India, Kenya should increase trade ties: Mukherjee


New Delhi:  President Pranab Mukherjee has called for increasing and diversifying economic linkages with Kenya as he underlined that trade between India and Kenya is below potential.

Welcoming President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mukherjee highlighted centuries-old relationship between Kenya and India.

“India and Kenya fought together as brothers against colonialism. The two countries are bound by common belief in democratic values and traditions. India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had a special relationship with Kenyan President’s father, President Jomo Kenyatta who laid the foundation of the Kenyan nation,” he said.

The President said India and Kenya have made significant progress in cooperation since re-establishment of contacts at Head of Government level during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July, 2016.

Expressing confidence that the visit of the Kenyan President will deepen relationship between the two countries, Mukherjee said these high-level exchanges are taking place after a gap of over three decades.

“The President said trade is below potential and there is need for increasing and diversifying economic linkages. India welcomes efforts by the industry and business on both sides to pursue opportunities in healthcare, tourism, IT, agriculture, blue economy and energy,” a statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

Mukherjee also hosted a banquet in the honour of visiting dignitary yesterday at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Reciprocating the sentiments expressed by President Mukherjee, the Kenyan President lauded the role of the Indian community in Kenya whom he described as part and parcel of Kenyan society, the statement said.

He said the Indian community, encouraged by Prime Minister Nehru were an integral part of Kenya’s freedom struggle, it said.

“He called for increased contacts at the highest level so that people and business leaders get inspired to take relations to a new level,” it said.