Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria on Monday, May 8, announced that he was set to fly, alongside other Government delegates, to Indonesia for a three-day official working trip.
In a press statement, the CS revealed that the trip was aimed at negotiating an edible oils deal with the Indonesian government alongside eight others
“The visit to Indonesia by the Trade CS accompanied by a high-level government delegation aims to strengthen bilateral relations and explore future trade and investment partnerships between Kenya and Indonesia in various sectors.
“The visit follows a significant milestone in the diplomatic ties between our two countries, as senior Indonesian Ministers visited Kenya in January 2023, hosted President William Ruto, further emphasizing the commitment of both nations to enhancing cooperation and fostering mutually beneficial relationships,” the statement read in part.
During the visit, Kuria explained that the Kenyan delegation was slated to engage in discussions with their Indonesian counterparts to explore future trade and investment opportunities in several sectors.
According to Kuria, edible oils were the top agenda of the discussions.
“The delegation will seek to forge partnerships in the edible oils sector, fostering collaboration in production, processing, and distribution,” the CS stated.
The announcement came barely weeks after the Kenya Manufacturers Association (KAM) warned that if the government pursued a deal to import cheap cooking oil, the move could see 100,000 Kenyans lose their jobs.
In a statement on Wednesday, April 12, KAM pleaded with Ruto to protect the industry from cheap imports.
"With duty-free importation, there is a risk of industry closure due to the uncompetitiveness of local manufacturers.
"This will mean loss of approximately 100,000 jobs as well as loss of government revenue arising from taxation of the industry," KAM stated back then.
According to KAM, the industry is made up of 13 manufacturers producing 2 million metric tonnes of edible oils annually.
In defence of his move, Kuria noted that a partnership between Kenya and Indonesia would be able to further diversify the two economies, create employment opportunities, and foster sustainable development.
Apart from edible oils, the CS aims to look for partnerships in the following sectors; Mining, Renewable Energy, Blue Economy, Pharmaceuticals, Meat and Livestock, Electric Mobility, Textile and Apparel, and Coffee, Tea, Nuts and Flower sector.
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