14 June 2014

Kenya to Host 100 Ministers in Key Trade Meeting

Nairobi — Kenya is next week set to host a big delegation of ministers from Europe, Africa and the Caribean for two crucial meetings on trade and development.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed says the 98th Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Council (ACP) of Ministers will run from June 16 to 18. The second meeting which is the 39th joint session of the ACP - EU Council of Ministers will start on June 19 and end on June 20.

"The President will preside over the opening session of the joint ACP - EU Council of Ministers on 19th while the Deputy President will preside over the opening session of the ACP Council of Ministers on 17th," she explained.

The two conferences will see about 100 ministers and 400 other delegates from ACP and EU countries attend. The ACP meetings will provide a platform for political and economic discussion with a view of promoting relation between ACP countries and the EU.

They will also discuss exports from ACP countries to the EU with a view of enhancing trade between the two continents. 60 percent of ACP exports are to EU markets with Kenya sending 34 percent of its exports there.

During the two conferences delegates will further seek to discuss strengthening of institutions in promotion of democracy, economic growth and general human and social development.

The delegates will also brainstorm on how ACP - EU can expand their trade relations by expanding the market and also providing a favorable business environment. ACP-EU cooperation has been beneficial especially in development of infrastructure and agriculture.

"Kenya attracts assistance mainly in budget support, infrastructure development as well as agriculture and rural development. Under the 10th European Development Fund, 2008 - 2013, Kenya was allocated Euro 399.4 million (approximately Sh30 billion) in the three support areas," the CS explained.

Speaking when addressing the media with the EU Head of delegation at her office, she downplayed the closure of the British Consulate in Mombasa, saying although she was unhappy that the U.K had taken the step, it was not the first consulate to ever get closed.

She further assured that Kenya was addressing concerns of insecurity raised especially with the additional budget provided in this financial year.

On Friday, the British Government announced it had closed its consulate in Mombasa over security concerns.

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