ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY

Austrian investors eye Kenyan Big Four trade deals

According to 2018 statistics, Austria’s exports to Kenya stood at only €23 million (Sh2.6 billion), while imports were €9 million (Sh1 billion).

In Summary

• The Austrian embassy hosted a high-level construction business delegation in Kenya between February 26-28, in which 13 visiting and 100 local companies participated.

• The delegation that comprised of 13 companies under the banner ‘World Class Partners’ also met Treasury CS Ukur Yatani on February 27.

Austria's Commercial counsellor Edith Predorf
Austria's Commercial counsellor Edith Predorf
Image: COURTESY

Austria is keen on investing in projects that are in line with Kenya's Big Four agenda, according to its commercial counsellor. 

Of particular interest, she said,  are infrastructure development innovation and manufacturing areas.

Edith Predorf said Austria is taking advantage of the booming construction sector to have a “continuous and sustainable” relationship with Kenya.

 
 

“There is a lot of room for collaboration in the field of engineering, especially in the housing pillar,” Predorf told the Star. 

The Austrian embassy hosted a high-level construction business delegation in Kenya between February 26-28, in which 13 visiting and 100 local companies participated. 

The delegation under the banner ‘World Class Partners’ also met Treasury CS Ukur Yatani on February 27.

“This huge turn out and how warmly we were received at the Treasury proves us right,” Predorf added.

Advantage Austria, a business development agency, says the attractiveness of Kenya has increased due to years of experienced economic growth for foreign companies.

Some of the traditional exports to Kenya include machinery and transport equipment, pharmaceuticals and beverages. On the other hand, Kenya's exports to Vienna are cut flowers, fruits, vegetables, coffee and tea.

Austria’s exports to Kenya stood at only €23 million (Sh2.6 billion), while imports were €9 million (Sh1 billion), the counsellor said.

This is despite long diplomatic ties with Kenya dating to 1908, when Austria-Hungary established an Honorary Consulate in Mombasa. It was, however, closed due to the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and reopened in 1971.

Austria was also among the first countries to recognise Kenya’s independence opened its embassy in Nairobi April 1965.

Predorf said Austria’s imports have remained stable, while exports have increased by 60 per cent. The country’s exports to Africa stands at two per cent of total exports.

"Importantly, we want to ensure skills transfer on technology know-how. We have done this in the past through university exchange programmes and sponsorships,” Predorf said.

She said the embassy is organising an Innovate 4 Africa initiative during  the Nairobi innovation week.