Kenya, Indonesia forge new agreements to boost bilateral relations

Kenya, Indonesia forge new agreements to boost bilateral relations

Kenya opens its doors to Indonesian citizens offering them visa-free entry to boost ties

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - Kenya and Indonesia announced Monday a series of new agreements to expand trade and collaboration between the two nations.

The announcement came following high-level bilateral talks held at the State House in Kenya’s capital Nairobi and attended by leaders from both countries.

Speaking at a joint news conference after a meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Kenyan President William Ruto reiterated his country's dedication to fostering strong ties that transcend geographical boundaries.

"We are committed to seizing our strengths and creating the requisite environment to scale up our ties in textiles and apparel, energy, mining, oil production, and refining sectors to grow our investment and trade, whose value stood at more than $600 million last year," Ruto said.

"Indonesia’s investment will support the (Kenyan) government’s efforts to ensure affordable and accessible edible oil for the majority of the Kenyan people, especially in rural areas,” he added.

In addition to these, both countries solidified their collaboration by signing a fresh agreement pertaining to the export of cattle, further strengthening their economic ties.

Kenya and Indonesia inked several memoranda of understanding (MoU) in areas of energy, mining, pharmacy, and technology transfer.

Ruto also highlighted a landmark MoU between Kenya’s Biovax and Indonesia’s BioFarma for vaccine collaboration.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo echoed the same sentiment, emphasizing that the collaborations forged during this visit signified a new era of friendship and mutual progress.

"Our nations have embarked on a pivotal journey by agreeing to establish a bilateral investment treaty with Kenya. Within 90 days, this treaty will shape a secure and foreseeable investment landscape, fostering prosperity and mutual progress for both Indonesia and Kenya," Widodo said.

In an announcement that underscores Kenya's commitment to fostering international relations, Ruto also said Nairobi will allow Indonesian citizens visa-free entry to Kenya.

"We have taken the decision to extend the visa-free entry not only to holders of diplomatic and service passports but to all holders of the Indonesian passport, so our friends from Indonesia can now come to Kenya without a visa," he said.

Kenya also sought the support of Indonesia to facilitate its entry into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a rapidly expanding trade bloc in the Asian region.

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