On 21 and 22 February 2023, the business fraternity in Kenya and Europe gathered to launch of the first ever EU-Kenya Business Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. The forum aimed at fostering European trade and investment in Kenya by highlighting economic opportunities and potential, whilst also discussing areas for improvement. It will promote Kenya as a business destination and identify trade and investment opportunities for sustainable growth and job creation. Up to 600 business leaders, policy makers, diplomats and experts from Kenya and 27 EU countries attended the forum.
“Welcome to the first ever EU-Kenya Forum, for a Green, Economic Transition based on innovation and digital connectivity,” commented Henriette Geiger, EU Ambassador to Kenya.”
Dr. Alfred Mutua, Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs said, “Kenya is open for business. Our job is not to frustrate but to facilitate business and we need to make sure that everybody that is here is comfortable because at the end of the day it’s about money in the pockets, employment, growing the economy and that’s what we are all about.”
While opening the forum, HE Dr. William Samoei Ruto, President of Kenya said: “Welcome to Nairobi, welcome to Kenya. I am happy to be with you in this very important forum which marks the beginning of what promises to be the most significant development of trade and economic relations between Kenya and the European Union. We are off to an excellent start; may we all look forward to highly productive deliberations over the next two days which will give way to very rewarding engagements into the future.”
Hon. Mr. Oliver Becht, French Minister Delegate of Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad commented: “The renewed partnership between Europe and Africa is key to facing global challenges including the most pressing one, climate change.”
Thomas Ostros, European Investment Bank, Vice President said, “Our engagement has benefited millions of Kenyans through support to better access to clean water, affordable energy and harnessing winds and solar power and geothermal energy.” By the close of the forum, seven even key agreements were signed including 25 million EUR Business Environment and Export Enhancement Progamme (BEEEP). Experts gave their opinions on fostering EU-Kenya business opportunities and partnerships as well as the opportunity for businesses to hold face to face interactions.