Kenya and Italy have agreed to remove non-tariff barriers in their bid to stimulate trade and investment.
The two countries said they will negotiate on the avoidance of a double-taxation agreement that will usher in higher levels of foreign direct investments.
Speaking at State House on Tuesday, March 14, during a state visit by President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, President William Ruto disclosed that they had shared views about opportunities to improve the balance of trade between the two countries.
The cooperation, he explained, will be in the areas of agro-industrial, ICT and bio-fuel projects.
“Our meeting provided us with the opportunity to discuss modalities of enhancing trade and investment between Kenya and Italy,” noted President Ruto.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of two agreements, two MoUs and a joint declaration to provide a framework for advancement of bilateral cooperation in different fields.
“We have signed an MoU through which our two countries shall cooperate in the field of health, towards the realisation of Universal Health Coverage and improved pharmaceutical production.”
President Ruto explained that Kenya and Italy had further committed to re-establish cooperation on the construction of Arror, Kimwarer and Itare dams.
These projects, the two leaders noted, “are critical to our agenda on food security and climate action”.
During the meeting, Italy committed to advance Sh14 Billion in grants and soft loans covering projects in agriculture, MSMEs, housing and urban settlement, health, the digital super highway and creative economy.
President Mattarella noted that Kenya is a strategic partner in Africa that Italy will continue to work with.
“The agreements we have signed today are a sign of how far our relations are advancing. We will continue partnering to foster an investor-friendly environment,” he said.