On 30th and 31st of January 2020, Kenya played host to the first-ever Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi. The KEPSA Chair, Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt led other private sector leaders from Kenya, the region and Africa in the launch of this inaugural Investment Conference that was officially opened by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta said that Kenya will be seeking to revive trade relations with countries in Central Asia such as Pakistan, noting that the trade agreements will be beneficial to both regions. “Kenya and Africa is seeking to transform itself into a global powerhouse and to achieve that we need to revive trade relations with the China-Pakistan economic corridor. This conference is just the beginning of that journey where we hope to learn from each other,” He said.
The Pakistani delegation was led by the Foreign Minister, H.E Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Commerce, Industries, Production and Investment, H.E Abdul Razak Dawood. Other delegates included business leaders from the East African region and Africa at large. A delegation of over a hundred leading Pakistani companies in major export sectors, as detailed below, having potential in Africa, were present:
- Textile and Apparel
- Agriculture (Rice, Sugar, wheat, etc.)
- Tractors & Agricultural Implements
- Banking and Transportation
- Surgical instruments
- Leather & Sports Goods
- Light Engineering and Electronics
- IT & software
- Cement & Construction services
The main purpose of the conference was to increase trade and investment relations between Africa and Pakistan. Kenya is the second-largest trading partner in Africa with Pakistan with the main commodities being tea and rice. As Kenya is the largest buyer of Pakistani rice, the Pakistani rice sector was given a special preference in this conference.