President Uhuru Kenyatta has hailed the strong bilateral ties between Kenya and Hungary saying the relationship is driven largely by economic cooperation, trade and investments.
At the same time, Kenyatta regretted the low volumes of trade and investment flow between Nairobi and Budapest over the last five decades despite the existing huge commercial potential.
According to the United Nations database on international 2020 statistics, balance of trade between Kenya and Hungary is skewed in favour of the latter, with Kenya’s imports standing at $9.36 million (Sh1 billion) against exports of goods worth $785,000 (Sh89 million).
“To address the low trade volumes, we have to intensify efforts to promote greater linkages and networks between the private sector and business communities in the two countries; and encourage them to take advantage of the economic opportunities existing in our respective countries,” Kenyatta said.
Kenyatta spoke on Monday evening at State House, Nairobi during a state banquet he hosted together with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for visiting Hungarian President János Áder and his spouse Anita Herczegh.
At the banquet, President Kenyatta said Kenya was counting on the support of Hungary to unlock the economic partnership agreement between the East African Community and the European Union.
“Kenya looks forward to the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the East African Community and the European Union to open up greater trading and economic opportunities,” Kenyatta said.
The EU-EAC EPA covers trade in goods and fisheries as well as development cooperation aimed at reinforcing cooperation on the sustainable use of resources. Further negotiations are ongoing to include services and trade-related rules in the future.
On multilateralism, President Kenyatta said Kenya and Hungary share common positions on key global issues including climate change, and thanked the European nation for the support that led to Kenya’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
“Mitigating climate change is an imperative of our times and my Government’s commitment to this noble cause extends to the United Nations Security Council where climate and security is an important focus during our term.”
“We look forward to continue working closely with the Government of Hungary, within the UN system and other multilateral forums, to champion the climate change agenda and other shared global priorities,” he said.
In his address, Hungarian President János Áder commended the Government for its commitment to improving the lives of Kenyans through transformational development programmes, and expressed optimism that the current development tempo will continue beyond President Kenyatta’s term.
“What I wish you Mr President, because you will be handing over your office in August, is that during this remaining six months, you should have enough time and you should have enough strength to prepare all these (development) programmes and to launch them.
“I wish that your successor should have the same kind of enthusiasm and drive to actually conclude all these (development) programmes like the way you started Mr President,” President Ader said.
Source: Capital FM Kenya.