Kenya’s President William Ruto says he is seeking to improve the bilateral trade relations with the US and establish “new relationships and strategic partnerships” with American businesspeople in his efforts to improve the country’s economy.
According to a statement by State House, the president, who is currently in New York city for the United Nations General Assembly, was hosted to a “high-level business roundtable” by the US Chamber of Commerce, a lobby representing American businesses and organisations.
“Participants explored ways in which the US business community can partner with Kenyan industries to achieve the President’s vision and development agenda,” the dispatch reads.
Dr Ruto said Kenya is ready for investments and that the partnerships with American businesses will help improve the country’s economic and social transformation.
“Investors can predict the future of Kenya because it’s a democratic country. We have demonstrated as the people of Kenya that the rule of law underpins public affairs,” he said.
The president also held separate talks on fertiliser production and green energy “to enhance agricultural production, create jobs and develop a more resilient economy,” but State House didn’t specify the attendees of this meeting.
President Ruto had vowed to reduce the cost fertiliser by nearly half during his inauguration on September 13, highlighting this as one of his administration’s key priorities and a strategy to bring down the cost of living in the country.
He also said his government “commits to create a business-friendly environment, eradicate barriers that hamper business development and growth, and make Kenya one of the most compelling and attractive business destinations.”
The US is the second leading destination for Kenyan exports, with data from the World Bank estimating that Nairobi exported about $509 million worth of goods to the US between 2015 and 2019, accounting for 8.7 percent of all exports.
Ruto was also the chief guest at the Africa Investment Partnership Forum organised by the United Nations Development Programme, in which “discussions centred on moving Africa from aid to investment.”
President Ruto is scheduled to address the 77th UN General Assembly on Wednesday at around 9pm EAT, before returning to Kenya where he is expected to announce his new cabinet.
DRC’s President Félix Tshisekedi already addressed the assembly on Tuesday, while Rwanda is scheduled for Wednesday, and Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania are slotted for Thursday.