Qatar-Kenya relations are all set for a big upsurge with the two countries having signed a number of agreements, including on economic, commercial and technical cooperation, says Kenya’s Ambassador to Qatar HE Galma Mukhe Boru, in an exclusive interview with Qatar Tribune. The exemplary manner, humility and maturity that Qatar has displayed in handling the diplomatic crisis is really worth emulating, a top African diplomat has said.
“Despite the adverse situation created by the blockade, Qatar has from day one called for dialogue to resolve any differences while maintaining its sovereignty. This is worth emulating. Qatari people have always emphasized the bond of kinship that exists among the Gulf families,” Kenya’s Ambassador to Qatar HE Galma Mukhe Boru told Qatar Tribune in an exclusive interview. “I congratulate the Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani and the people of Qatar on the way they have handled the crisis since it erupted in June 2017. We admire the leadership for the respect it has given to the people in the face of the crisis,” Boru said. The envoy said the volume of trade between Kenya and Qatar as of 2015 stood at exports from Kenya to Qatar at $9,106,520 and imports at $54,644,023. The trade imbalance is about $45,448,222.
Kenya’s exports to Qatar include fruits and vegetables, meat and meat products, fruit juices, flour, tea, coffee, cut flower, pulses, fodder for animals etc, while it imports from Qatar chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilizers, plastics and furniture.”For now the volume of trade is very much in favour of Qatar but there is a huge potential for Qatar to import from Kenya most of its food requirements, as Kenya is very close to Qatar in terms of geographical proximity,” Boru added.
Regarding the investments being made between the two countries, the envoy said the investments are mainly from Qatar to Kenya in various sectors. The sectors in which Qatar has invested include hospitality industry, oil and gas, mining, retail, energy (especially in geothermal power generation), and education.”There is still huge potential for investments that guarantee huge returns for investors. Potential exists in sectors such as real estate, manufacturing, transportation infrastructure (roads, railways, ports, drainage systems, power production and transmission), and education.
In reply to a question about how the embassy is helping Kenyan investors, Boru said,”Our role is to provide as much information as possible for Kenyans who want to trade or invest in Qatar. To facilitate these endeavors, Kenya and Qatar have signed a number of agreements, including on economic, commercial and technical cooperation; agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with regard to taxes on income; and agreement on the reciprocal promotion and protection of investment.
According to the Kenyan envoy, the ties between the two countries are based on cooperation, mutual respect and brotherhood which will continue to flourish, especially in trade and investment, as well as in all other spheres. The Kenyan ambassador said more than 24,000 Kenyans are living in Qatar. They are working in sectors like hospitality; as pilots, avionic engineers, ground services personnel and cabin crew; in banking and financial services sector as chief operating officers, asset managers, financial risk analysts etc; in taxi and limousine as drivers and mechanics; in construction and security sector; journalists etc.
On tourism, Boru said the number of visitors from Qatar to Kenya has increased exponentially over the years. The embassy, he noted, continues to issue more visas to Qataris and members of other nationalities and those who visit Kenya come back with stories of how wonderful the country is, and in return, many more are interested to visit.”Kenya offers great safari expeditions and has well-developed tourist attraction sites, a rich culture and excellent climate,” the envoy said.
Sources and photo-credits: Qatar Tribune