Kenya and the UAE have signed an investment promotion agreement to increase the volume of trade between the two countries — an accord carried out by Kenyan Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich, and the UAE Minister of state for financial affairs, Obaid Al Tayer, in Abu Dhabi.

The ‘Promotion and Protection of Investments’ agreement eases some restrictions and provides more assurance for investors in both countries by creating reciprocal protection.

It affirms that, “Investments by investors of either contracting party shall enjoy full protection and security in the territory of the other contracting party in accordance with the domestic laws of the host contracting party and the applicable rules of international law.”

Minister Al Tayer said: “We are excited about the opportunities in Kenya. This agreement will be a platform to encourage and strengthen the relationship between our two countries.”

While the deal is bound to see more investments from UAE flowing into Kenya, it similarly anticipates a rise in Kenyan companies in the UAE as they find it increasingly easy to do business.

Rotich meanwhile noted Kenya’s specific requirement for investors in the infrastructure sector, which under current plans needs more than $1,1bn investment on an annual basis.

“There is a huge investment gap in infrastructure and we also need investors in the energy sector where we are working on huge projects,” he commented.

The Cabinet Secretary highlighted the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway line, the expansion of the road network and plans to invest in measures to improve the efficiency of the Port of Mombasa.

Al Tayer added that the two countries can work closely in boosting tourist numbers coming to Kenya through a partnership that will see visitors coming through the UAE.

Also present at the meeting were Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, Solicitor General Njee Muturi and other senior UAE government officials.