INDIA-KENYA trade links and commercial ties between India and Kenya go back several centuries. At present, Kenya has a large minority of Indians and Persons of Indian Origin (numbering over 100,000 people). After independence in 1948, India established an Office of the Commissioner for British East Africa resident in Nairobi in 1948.
Further, following Kenya’s independence in 1963, an Indian High Commission was established in Nairobi and an Assistant High Commission set up in Mombasa. Kenya maintains a High Commission in New Delhi. Kenya and India are members of international bodies such as the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Commonwealth of Nations.
Bilateral cooperation between the two countries has tremendously improved post the economic reforms in India. In April 2015, the Government of India approved US$100 million LOC to the Government of Kenya for the Agricultural Mechanization Project. Further in January 2016, an LOC of US$ 29.95 million was approved by Government of India to Kenya to upgrade the Rift Valley Textiles Factory.
With regard to investments, Indian investments in Kenya are now worth $1.5 billion and India’s pharmaceutical exports have played a key role in making essential drugs available at affordable prices in Kenya. India also offers 101 fully funded scholarships for Kenyans annually under its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme for training them in technical skills. The area of cooperation between the two countries also includes development of various SMEs.
India and Kenya are maritime neighbours. The contemporary ties between India and Kenya have now evolved into a robust and multi–faceted partnership, by regular high–level visits, increasing trade and investment, as well as extensive people to people contacts. India was Kenya‘s largest trading partner in 2014–15 with bilateral trade of US$4.235 billion. In 2017–2018, bilateral trade was US$2.05 billion and for the period of April to August 2018, bilateral trade was US$1.062 billion. Main Indian exports to Kenya include petroleum products, pharmac euticals, steel products, machinery, yarn, vehicles and power transmission equipment. Main Kenyan exports to India include soda ash, vegetables, tea, leather and metal scrap.
According to the Kenya Investment Authority (Kenlnvest), India is the second largest investor in Kenya. Over 60 major Indian companies have invested in various sectors including Manufocturing, Real Estate, Pharmaceuticals, Telecom, IT & ITES, Banking and Agro-based industries. Indian investments have resulted in creation of thousands of direct jobs to Kenyans. Indian pharmaceutical companies have a substantial piresence in Kenya. In 2017, Kenya ranked 92nd in the World Bank ease of doing business rating from 113rd in 2016 ( of 190 countries).
Kenya Vision 2030 is the country’s development blueprint which was launched in 2008. The long-term goals of this vision are to create a prosperous and globally competitive nation with a high quality of life by the year 2030. To do this, it aims to transform Kenyan industry all the while creating a clean and secure environment. The vision is separated into three different pillars; economic, social, and political governance.