KARACHI - High Commissioner of Kenya, Professor Julius Kibet Bitok has said that trade volume between Pakistan and Kenya currently stood at around $600 million but there was a huge potential and efforts must be made from both sides to increase the existing volume to somewhere in between $1 to $2 billion in the next couple of years.

"In this regard, the business communities of both sides need to be encouraged and we must focus on trade delegations' visits along with participation in trade fairs in order to attain positive results", he added.

Exchanging views with KCCI office bearers and Managing Committee members at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the High Commissioner said that Pakistan and Kenya have been enjoying cordial relations which were mainly driven by improved trade from Karachi which was the focal point between the business communities of the two countries.

Underlining the need to diversify exports, Kenyan envoy said that currently trade between the two countries remains limited to traditional items only as Kenya has been mostly importing Basmati Rice from Pakistan whereas Pakistan usually imports Tea from Kenya.

He said that Pakistani business community can also benefit from Kenya's strategic location which gives easy access to different markets in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mozambique and many other important countries in the region.

Extending full support and cooperation to the business and industrial community of Karachi in facilitating their visits to Kenya, he said that many Pakistani have been living and successfully doing business in Kenya. "We are very much available with a view to build strong bilateral relations between the business communities of the two countries", he added.

He also invited the Karachi Chamber to participate in Nairobi International Trade Fair scheduled to be organized in Nairobi from September 29th to October 5th, 2016 in which exhibitors from many countries around the world will also be participating. He said that this exhibition displays a wide spectrum products and services and it will certainly be an effective platform for promoting Pakistani products in the African region.

Earlier, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, in his welcome remarks, stated that Karachi offers immense opportunities for undertaking joint ventures to Kenyan business community who must enhance their linkages with the Business and Industrial Community of Karachi.

He said that Karachi Chamber was keen to strengthen trade ties and exploring new bilateral trade prospects as huge potential to further enhance bilateral trade relations exist between the two countries. "Pakistan can export its pharmaceutical and surgical items, sport goods and farm machinery whereas our exporters can also approach the Kenyan market of 150 million people for increasing exports of Knitted and Non-Knitted Articles of Apparel and Accessories", he added.

He pointed out that during Fiscal Year 2015; Pakistan exported goods worth $286 million to Kenya whereas its imports stood at $278 million, depicting a trade volume of around US$600 million.

Younus further exhorted the need to improve Chamber-to-Chamber linkages, encourage trade promotional activities undertake trade and investment delegations' visits and organize trade fairs and exhibitions etc. in both countries which would bring the business communities of Pakistan and Kenya closer.

Honorary Consul General of Kenya Muhammad Hanif Janoo and officer bearers of KCCI present on the occasion.