- Kenya’s main exports to South Korea include coffee, titanium ore, scrap copper among others.
- Kenya imports includes iron and steel, organic chemicals, machinery, nuclear reactors,boilers, manmade staple fibers, among others.
The Republic of Korea is keen to strengthen cooperation with Kenya and the African continent at large, as Nairobi hosts a high-level meeting focused on economic growth.
The international conference titled ‘The 2023 High-Level Conference on the Korea-Africa Partnership', will take place on October 4 to 6.
The East Asian nation is exploring areas of cooperation with African countries across all sectors, including the economy, healthcare, and social development.
This builds on already strong relations with Kenya, recently cemented by President William Ruto’s official three-days visit to Seoul in November last year, where Kenya sought to deepen collaborations in ICT, education, pharmaceutical and infrastructure, among other areas.
The conference on enhancing economic cooperation between Korea and Africa in the post-Covid-19 era will bring together leaders and experts, including the Speaker of the Korean National Assembly, as well as representatives of the Export- Import Bank of Korea.
Others are the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Global Together, an NGO dedicated to humanitarian and development initiatives, and various ministries and agencies involved in cooperation projects between Korea and Africa.
“Over the past decades, Africa’s rapid growth has drawn global attention. Many countries across the continent have made substantial strides in economic development, political stability, and social progress,” said Kim, Kyo Shik, Chairman of Global Together, conference organiser.
South Korea is backing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is considered the world’s largest free trade area.
According to Shik, countries in Africa have tremendous growth potential with their rich natural resources, growing populations, and rising middle classes.
President William Ruto is expected to grace the Nairobi forum.
Kenya and South Korea have enjoyed strong bi-lateral ties over years, including in trade, despite volumes being in favour of the latter.
According to the Kenya Economic Survey 2023, the value of imports from South Korea increased from Sh22.3 billion in 2021 to Sh50.2 billion in 2022, mainly due to increased imports of kerosene type jet fuel.
Exports equally increased to Sh6.1 billion, from Sh3.9 billion.
Kenya’s main exports include coffee, titanium ore, scrap copper among others.
Kenya imports includes iron and steel, organic chemicals, machinery, nuclear reactors,boilers, manmade staple fibers, among others.
In February this year, the two countries pledged to continue to nurture and expand ties aimed at contributing to the socio-economic development.
South Korea agreed to support Kenya’s development agenda by committing Sh120 billion to various projects including agriculture, ICT, health, energy, infrastructure, education, affordable housing and urban transport.
“Kenya will work with South Korea to develop manufacturing plants in the Konza Technopolis, an export promotion zone dedicated to pharmaceutical manufacturing, vaccines production and value addition in Agriculture,” President Ruto had said.
Separately in a meeting with the Kim Jin Pyo, Speaker of South Korea Parliament, President Ruto urged the South Korean Parliament to pass legislations that will ease trade between the two countries and secure job opportunities for Kenyans.
The leaders pledged to work together to enhance clean energy to mitigate the effects of climate change and manage the effects of drought.