President Kenyatta departed from London on Sunday, after holding bilateral meetings with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and President Yoweri Museveni both focused on trade and security.The President held talks with Abbasi following concerns that trade between two countries has not been promising over the past years.
Pakistan is currently the leading importer of Kenyan products and more than 80 per cent of the rice imported into Kenya comes from Pakistan.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that in 2016, Kenya’s total exports to Pakistan dropped to $178.19 million from $186.87 million in 2015.
The total imports from Pakistan increased from $359.03 million in 2015 to $394.65 million in 2016.
The total volume of trade between the two countries stood at $572.84 million in 2016, in favour of Pakistan.
“Trade with Pakistan has dropped below historical highs, and the President engaged the Pakistani PM on getting trade back on an upward trajectory. Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Dr Monica Juma will be following this matter up fairly quickly,” Manoah Esipisu, the State House spokesperson said on Sunday.
“The bilateral talks with President Museveni also focused on trade and security. Uganda is a major partner and the leaders have to review fairly regularly the state of trade and investment between the two countries,” Esipisu said before departing from London.
Neighbouring Uganda, which for many years has been the largest buyer of Kenyan goods, was overtaken this year by Pakistan. Uganda has in the past years been the driver of Kenya’s exports, while Tanzania was once the second largest buyer of goods from Nairobi, before narrowing its orders.
Kenyatta who attended the Commonwealth Summit in London also chose to market Kenya by going on two hugely popular and robust platforms, the policy think-tank Chatham House, and broadcaster CNN.Kenya emerged from the summit with an endorsement across the board for its new role as a champion for blue economic development. Canada has already offered to co-host the November Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi.The high-profile blue economy summit will be a massive conference similar to the WTO meetings and the UNCTAD summit.