The Ambassador to the Republic of Colombia in Kenya H.E. Ms Monica De Greiff and Deputy Chief of Mission Ms Claudia Milena Vaca hosted KNCCI President Mr. Richard Ngatia and CEO Mr. Samuel Matonda at Sankara Hotel.
The aim of the meeting was to engage on strengthening bilateral relations, trade and knowledge exchange between the two countries.
– In 2017, KNCCI and Bogota Chamber of Commerce signed an MoU that provided a general framework for promoting economic development and enhancing trade linkages between Kenya and Colombia.
– In June 2019, KNCCI organized a trade mission to Bogota, Colombia scouting for trade opportunities for Kenyan businesses in promising markets.
The mission succeeded in increasing the visibility of African businesses in the Latin American market.
Both parties acknowledge that enhancing Kenya-Columbia collaboration is in line with the global South-South cooperation goal between developing Countries as envisioned by the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. In this regard, Kenya could be the gateway for Colombia to penetrate African markets, considering Kenya’s strategic presence in the EAC, COMESA, IGAD, Great Lakes and AFCFTA. On the other hand, Columbia could be an enabler for Kenya’s exporters to reach market links in Latin America.
Both countries produce and export high quality coffee. It was proposed that a trade mission be organized for business people in the coffee value chains of both countries to exchange knowledge. Companies in Colombia also seek to find Kenyan distributors in Agrifoods and cosmetics. In addition, there is an opportunity for Columbia’s youth to learn from Kenya’s growing Fintech and innovation start-ups through a youth exchange programme.
For Kenya, there is an opportunity to learn from Colombia’s design and architectural techniques of using bamboo trees as key construction materials for residential and commercial building structures. Bamboo is a natural, strong, flexible and sustainable resource that could be utilized for low-cost housing in Kenya. Additionally, Kenya can benchmark from Colombia’s marine waste management technology to conserve its marine resources and prevent environmental degradation.
Other areas for mutual information exchange include culture, sports and tourism.
- The existing MoU between KNCCI and Bogota Chamber to be fully implemented, with priority given to activities that can be immediately conducted
- A joint Business Council to be established, that shall oversee the implementation of the MoU
- The two countries to commence the engagement with knowledge exchange and information sharing in the mutual areas of interest. This shall be done through Webinars and virtual B2Bs as they anticipate a trade mission and physical excursions later in the year