World Africa 11 Jul 2016 Modi signs 7 pacts w ...

Modi signs 7 pacts with Kenyan President; focus on trade and security

PTI
Published Jul 11, 2016, 2:49 pm IST
Updated Jul 11, 2016, 6:49 pm IST
The two leaders held delegation level talks and Modi gifted Kenya 30 field ambulances.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. (Photo: Twitter)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. (Photo: Twitter)

Nairobi: Seeking to bolster their ties,India and Kenya today decided to deepen and expand cooperation in a wide range of areas as they signed seven pacts, including in the field of defence and security and avoidance of double taxation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after his talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta here, also announced extension of concessional Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 44.95 million to the African nation to help it in development of small and medium enterprises and textiles.

 

India will also build a cancer hospital in Kenya to provide quality and affordable healthcare. "The multifaceted development partnership is a key pillar of our bilateral relationship," Modi said at a joint media interaction with Kenyatta after the talks.

Read: Modi offers India's experiences, expertise to Kenya

He said Kenyatta and he had "agreed that terrorism and radicalisation is a common challenge for our two countries, the region and the whole world. We have agreed to deepen our security partnership including in fields of cyber security, combating drugs & narcotics and human trafficking."

 

The MoU on Defence Cooperation signed will entail staff exchanges, expertise sharing, training, cooperation in hydrography and equipment supply.

Modi said the two countries have shared common interest in the security, including in maritime security, since they are connected by the Indian Ocean.

"Closer cooperation in field of maritime security occupies an important place in our defence and security engagement," he said.

 

The Prime Minister said India stands ready to share its development experiences and expertise to assist in Kenya's development objectives.

Announcing that India has will fully finance a cancer hospital in Kenya, he said it will not only benefit the Kenyan society with quality and affordable healthcare but also help India become a regional medical hub.

Kenyatta expressed gratitude to India for the LOC -- USD 29.95 million for upgrading of a textile factory and USD 15 million for SMEs -- and building the cancer hospital.

 

He said he would personally follow up on the implementation of the decisions taken, which he said would go a long way in deepening the bilateral partnership and boosting prosperity.

Besides MoUs in defence and security, revised pact on avoidance of double taxation and two LOCs, the other agreements were in the fields of visa, housing and measuring standards.

Describing Kenya as a "valued friend and trusted partner" of India, Modi said the bonds between the two countries are long-standing and rich, with the two sharing a common legacy of struggle against colonialism.

 

"Our historical people-to-people ties provide a strong basis to our wide-ranging partnership, which extends from agriculture and health to developmental assistance; from trade and commerce to investment; from closer contacts between our peoples to capacity building; and from regular political consultations to defence and security cooperation," he said.

"And, today, President and I reviewed all aspects and full range of our relationship," the Prime Minister added.

Reiterating that India is one of the brightest spots in the world economy, he said Kenya is a land of strong opportunities.

 

"India is Kenya's largest trading partner, and the second largest investor here. But, there is potential to achieve much more," said Modi, on the second and final day of his Kenya visit, that marks the end of his four-nation African tour.

He said he and Kenyatta agreed the economies of the two countries can benefit more "if we nurture greater intensity of commercial links; take steps towards a more diversified trade basket; and expand our investment ties further." This, he said, would also enable greater regional economic prosperity.

 

"In this, while governments would play their part, it is the businesses of the two countries that have a key role and responsibility to drive our commercial partnership," he added.

Modi, who arrived here yesterday on the final leg of his four-nation Africa tour, was accorded ceremonial guard of honour at the State House here.

"The fourth welcome in 5 days, PM @narendramodi receives ceremonial honours at the State House in Nairobi," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

 

He earlier paid tributes to Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya and a towering political figure of Africa.

"Homage to a great son of Africa, a friend of India. PM lays wreath at Mausoleum of Jomo Kenyatta, 1st Prez of Kenya," Swarup said.

Ahead of the visit, the Prime Minister had said, "India-Kenya ties have stood the test of time. Both our nations have had very strong people-to-people ties and both nations have successfully fought colonialism in the previous century."

He visited Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania before arriving here. The focus of the African tour is on deepening cooperation in areas of hydrocarbons, maritime security, trade and investment, agriculture and food.

 

"We look forward to early implementation of the Indian lines of credit for projects in agricultural mechanization, textiles and the development of the small and medium sector," the Prime Minister said.

"We are also encouraged by the progress in the power transmission project under an Indian line of credit of 60 million dollars," he said.

Kenya's highly successful eothermal sector, and energy efficiency projects such as LED based smart street lighting, are a couple of new areas where the two countries can build their engagement, Modi said.

 

Noting that health care is President Uhuru's key priority, he said India, with strengths especially in pharmaceuticals, can join hands with his priorities to shape an affordable and efficient healthcare system in Kenya.

In this regard, he said the prestigious Kenyatta National Hospital will soon have the state of the art made in India cancer therapy machine, Bhabhatron.

"We are also donating essential medicines and medical equipment for Kenya's public health system, including for the treatment AIDS," said Modi who also donated some field ambulances to Kenya today.

 

He said India is also ready to partner with Kenya in the fields of education, vocational education and skill development.

Modi also announced that Festival of India will be held in Kenya later this year to showcase the vibrant Indian culture, which is already a part of Kenya's rich society. Kenyatta added that his country is keen to have cooperation in the field of sports, with India having expertise in cricket and Kenya in athletics.

He told Modi that Kenya is his "second home" as he emphasised that people-to-people contacts are the bedrock of the bilateral ties.

 

Later a joint communique was issued which said the Kenyan side noted India's offer of an LoC for acquisition of defence equipment and agreed to continue cooperating in this sector.

It said both sides agreed to share information and expertise in counter terrorism, cyber security, combating drugs and human trafficking.

"The two leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and agreed to work together in building a new global resolve and strategy for combating terrorism, including expediting the finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN," it said.

 

In the talks, India agreed to share expertise with Kenya on space-based applications, weather forecast and disaster management support. The communique said the possibility of export of pulses from Kenya to India was also explored.

The Kenyan President requested India to consider expanding training and capacity building programmes in areas such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.

The two leaders also welcomed the setting up of an ICCR Chair for Indian Studies at the University of Nairobi. Prime Minister Modi announced a grant of USD 1 million for renovation of the Mahatma Gandhi Graduate Library at the University of Nairobi, it said.

 

The communique said in response to Kenya's request to develop its film industry, India offered to consider deputation of Indian faculty to the School of Film Making in Nairobi.

The two sides agreed to exchange coaches for training in athletics and cricket as a way of promoting sports cooperation.

Noting that capacity building is an essential element in achieving energy access and energy security, India will support training and capacity building in the areas of clean and renewable energy transmission and grid integration of renewable energy network.

 

The two leaders emphasised the importance of an early reform of the United Nations Security Council, in both permanent and non-permanent membership categories, so that it reflects the current realities and functions in an accountable, representative and effective manner, the communique said.

Modi and Kenyatta agreed to work towards finalising an agreement on cooperation in the blue economy sector.

The Prime Minister of India extended an invitation to President Kenyatta to visit India, which he accepted, said the communique.

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