Top Stories / National
Monday, 11 Jul 2016 18:13 EAT
STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU KENYATTA, C.G.H., PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE JOINT PRESS BRIEFING WITH H.E. MR. NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA, STATE HOUSE, NAIROBI, 11TH JULY, 2016
Good afternoon everyone; thank you all for joining us.
First, I want to extend a warm welcome once again to Prime Minister Modi and the delegation that has accompanied him on his historic visit. I had the pleasure of visiting India late last year, and it is an honour to have the Prime Minister reciprocate the visit. As I shared with him, this trip is especially significant for us.
The enduring connections between our peoples span centuries, and our country today boasts, many Indian influences and a vibrant Kenyan-Indian community who have, over many years, contributed an incredible amount to the political, social and economic evolution of our country.
Likewise, the cooperation between our nations has been crucial, and, indeed, it has only grown stronger over the years. Thousands of Kenyans have received a high quality education at Indian universities.
Many Kenyans have received treatment in Indian hospitals. Our collaboration as nations is undeniably robust.
So this visit offered both our countries a unique opportunity to reflect on our long-standing relationship; to take stock of the past and take steps towards a future of even stronger partnership.
It was with the goal of broadening our established relationship that the Prime Minister and I led our bilateral engagement earlier today.
Our discussions broached a number of critical issues including our ongoing cooperation in the areas of health, energy, education, trade among other areas, as well as our cooperation in the multi-lateral context where we continue to support one another’s initiatives.
I am particularly pleased that India, through its Exim Bank, has extended two lines of credit to Kenya. One is a facility of $29.95 million which will go towards reviving the Rift Valley Textile Industry.
The other, a facility of $15 million, will go to the Industrial Development Bank for the development of small and medium enterprises.
The Government of India has also offered support to Kenya in the area of health; an area in which their expertise and leadership is globally respected. Today, we discussed and approved a proposal forwarded by India to fully fund the development and equipping of a cancer hospital in Kenya.
I look forward to the completion of such an institution, which would bring quality and affordable cancer treatment closer to all our citizens.
We also discussed how to further expand our health cooperation. One of the other things we hope to do, eventually, is create a pharmaceutical drug manufacturing capacity here in Kenya, with the support of India. Such an effort would help us produce the life-saving drugs needed by so many of our citizens, including ARVs.
Today, we begun dialogue around technology and knowledge transfers in the area of pharmaceutical drugs, and it is a conversation we will continue.
Finally, Prime Minister Modi and I were happy to witness the signing of a number of bilateral agreements that will see us cooperating more closely in defense, tourism, immigration, agriculture and trade.
These agreements included a Revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and an MoU between the Bureau of Indian Standards and Kenya’s Bureau of Standards; and an MOU which secured visa exemption for holders of Diplomatic passports.
As we look to the future, we are both keen on exploring cooperation in sports where our countries have much to teach each other – India, in terms of cricket and Kenya in terms of athletics.
India also plans to host the Festival of India here in Kenya later this year, and we look forward to supporting that exciting initiative, and to strengthening the people-to-people interactions that are truly the bedrock of our bilateral relationship.
Overall, I think we are both proud of the progress we have made through our discussions and pleased with the decisions we have taken.
We look forward to implementing our agreements fully and quickly, and to all that the future has in store for our historic relationship.
Uhuru is the president of Kenya