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NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Hatem Mohammed (L), Kunooz Marble Sales Manager shows their products to Adan Mohamed ©, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for East Africa Community and Regional Development at their exhibition stand during the opening of the Omani Products Exhibition in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Oct. 29, 2018. The Omani Products Exhibition kicked off on Monday in Nairobi with the participation of more than 80 Omani companies as well as business people. XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO

Omani investors show interest at Kenya oil and tourism sectors

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Omani investors on Friday expressed interest in investing in Kenya’s oil and tourism sectors, a trade lobby said.

Kipronoh Kittony, chairperson of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), said in Nairobi that Omani investors have identified Nairobi as having lucrative economic opportunities due to its investor-friendly business environment.

Omani companies are looking to invest in Kenya’s downstream oil and the hospitality sectors, Kittony told a media briefing on the upcoming Oman Trade Fair, to be held in Nairobi next week.

The inaugural Oman Product Expo (OPEX) has attracted executives of over 100 firms from the sultanate, which will be showcasing their wares during the four-day event.

The trade fair is seeking to connect Kenyan agro-processors, manufacturers, contractors, distributors, exporters and importers with their counterparts from Oman.

Kittony said trade between the two countries remains low despite long historical ties and close geographical proximity.

Kenyan government data indicates that in 2017 Kenya exported goods worth about 16 million U.S. dollars to the gulf state, while it imported goods worth 13 million dollars from Oman.

Kittony noted that Kenyan exports consists mostly of livestock, cut-flowers, horticulture and base metals, while imports from Oman were mostly petroleum, finished industrial manufactured goods and technology goods.

According to the KNCCI, both nations are committed to using the Oman Trade Fair to expand bilateral ties.

"We are committed to tripling bilateral trade by exploiting new trade opportunities in the next five years," Kittony said.

Early next year, the Kenyan trade lobby will send a trade delegation to Oman to network with their Omani business counterparts.

This is part of the group’s broader strategy to help small and medium-sized entreprises to access international markets, Kittony added.

He said Kenya’s port of Mombasa and Oman’s Salalah port will sign a collaboration agreement.

Kittony said that the pact is ideal as both ports serve as regional gateways in their respective regions.

According to the trade lobby, both nations are currently in talks on an avoidance of double taxation agreement.

Ayman Abdullah, chairperson of OPEX, said Omani firms are keen to sign joint venture agreements with Kenyan firms.

Omani businesses also want to recruit Kenyan personnel to work in the educational sector, Abdullah said.

Abdullah urged both nations to take advantage of the vibrant transport links between them.

He said Oman Air currently operates four flights a week to Nairobi and many Kenyans prefer to use the Omani flag carrier to easily access Far East countries.

It takes only eight days for cargo to move from the Oman’s port of Salalah to Kenya’s Mombasa port, Abdullah noted.

Kenya could also benefit from Oman’s expertise in the oil and gas sector to exploit its recently discovered oil deposits in northwest Kenya, he said.

Abdullah said Omani investors are keen to participate in Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta’ "Big Four" agenda projects in affordable housing, manufacturing, food security and universal healthcare.


Oman, Kenya trade lobbies sign MOU to boost trade cooperation

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Oman and Kenya trade lobbies on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost trade cooperation between the two nations.

Qais Mohammed Al Yousef, chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told journalists in Nairobi that the MOU which runs for three years will enhance the understanding of economic opportunities that are present in both countries.

“The overall aim is to boost bilateral trade and investment levels which are currently below potential,” Al Yousef said during the opening ceremony of the first edition of the Oman Product Expo.

The four-day event brought over 100 firms from the gulf state to showcase their goods in the energy, food engineering and health sectors.

Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry has already signed MOU with other African countries such as Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Al Yousef said that the MOU will form the basis of dialogue between the interaction of the business communities in Oman and Kenya.

He added that the MOU will enhance knowledge sharing on market intelligence in the two respective markets.

He noted that Omani firms also hope to use the MOU with their Kenyan counterparts to expand their operations into the African continent.

The chairman said that Kenya is an ideal partner because it has attracted many multinational firms to set up their regional headquarters.

For his part, James Mureu, Vice Chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the agreement is the beginning of enhancing and understanding of the opportunities that are present in both nations.

Mureu said that both businesses in Kenya and Oman are keen to explore each other’s domestic markets.

He added that Kenya will use Oman as a gateway to enter into the gulf region while Oman will leverage on its close ties with Kenya to expand into the African region.



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