President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to open a new chancery in the Swiss Capital of Bern to enhance trade tries between Kenya and Switzerland.
Speaking ahead of President Kenyatta’s official visit to Switzerland, Ambassador Andrew Kihuran said the opening of the new chancery will invigorate the growing bilateral trade which has been on the upward trend with Kenya’s exports standing at Sh4.8 billion while imports from Switzerland standing at Sh8 billion annually.
“Another primary issue we engage in the promotion of trade. You may be aware that there’s significant bilateral trade between the two countries. Kenya is Switzerland’s 16th biggest trading partner in Africa,” Ambassador Andrew Kihuran.
The Kenyan Ambassador pointed out that despite the balance of trade being tilted in favour of Switzerland, Kenya has continued to increase its export of coffee, tea and horticultural produce. He added that bilateral trade in 2021 was extensive with Kenya being Switzerland’s major source of cut flowers.
Imports from the European country to Kenya include herbicides, fungicides, chemicals, paints, machinery and pharmaceuticals.
“So our mandate is to be able to see how to enhance that trade between the two countries. Not only in terms of the volume but also in terms of the breadth, to see what other different items we can be able to trade between the two countries,” Ambassador Andrew Kihuran.
Ambassador Kihuran further noted that the two nations have had significant cooperation in the tourism sector, noting that Kenya used to receive over 9,000 tourists annually from Switzerland prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He expressed hope that the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination process will revive the tourism sector with Kenya receiving an increasing number of tourists from the European country.
“Switzerland has done about 70% of vaccination of its population and of course in Kenya we are continuing to increase the level of vaccinations. We expect the level of tourism will start growing once again and it is the responsibility of this embassy to enhance growth of that tourism exchange,” Andrew Kihuran.
The Kenyan envoy to Switzerland also noted that President Kenyatta will visit Geneva where he is scheduled to address the World Health Assembly on May 22.