A delegation of Kenyan
financial sector representatives is set to visit Barbados in the next
two weeks to explore business opportunities in the Caribbean.
The visit by the financial sector representatives is part of several
agreements reached after discussions between President Uhuru Kenyatta
and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados to deepen business ties
between Kenya and the Caribbean nation.
PM Mottley, who invited the Kenyan delegation, said having Kenyan
financial firms operating in Barbados will act as an anchor for Kenyan
businesses that can then use the country as a hub to trade in the wider
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region.
“When Kenyan banks and financial institutions get a foothold in
Barbados and the Caribbean, Kenyan businesses will have familiar faces
to deal with,” said PM Mottley.
The delegation is expected to include the Central Bank of Kenya and
representatives of the Nairobi Securities Exchange among others.
The Barbados PM spoke last evening at State House, Nairobi when
President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted a reception
in honour of the Barbados leader who is in the country on a state visit.
PM Mottley said Barbados is eager to have direct air and sea links
with Kenya to spur trade between East Africa and the Caribbean.
She said Kenya and Barbados will soon sign an air services agreement
that will link Kenya and the Caribbean country through West Africa and
onward to North America.
The Prime Minister said she is committed to work closely with
President Kenyatta to create mutually beneficial partnerships between
Africa and Barbados and the wider Caribbean Community.
She revealed that government officials from the two countries have
been having constant working interactions since President Kenyatta’s
state visit to Barbados in August this year.
PM Mottley said the people of the Caribbean have been separated from
Africa for centuries but today’s technology is bridging the divide.
“Our people are moving forward and the technology of our time is
bringing us together. It is an idea whose time has come,” the Prime
She noted that exchange programs between schools and universities
that were part of agreements signed earlier during her bilateral talks
with President Kenyatta will increase the people-to-people interactions
between Kenya and Barbados.
President Kenyatta, who was joined by Deputy President William Ruto,
said PM Mottley’s visit will go a long way in bringing Kenya and
Barbados closer in trade and culture.
He said the two nations have agreed to forge closer ties in banking
and finance, health and education, ICT, and renewable energy.
The President said Kenya and Barbados are both leaders in promoting
integration in their respective regions and will use their positions to
bring Africa and the people of the Caribbean closer to each other.
The reception was attended by several Cabinet Secretaries and invited dignitaries including former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.