June 20, 2024


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Expanding Horizons: Kenya and Japan’s Fascinating Relationship

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) and Kenya's President William Ruto walk after attending a press conference at the Statehouse in Nairobi. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP)

According to the Kenyan Revenue Authority (KRA), trade between Kenya and Japan has brought in an astounding Sh18.7 billion in revenue for the East African nation thus far in 2023.

The KRA’s Commissioner General, Humphrey Wattanga, stated that the sum shows a considerable expansion in Kenya and Japan’s bilateral relationship.

“Kenya exported goods worth Sh4.84 billion to Japan and imported goods worth Sh46.1 billion,” Wattanga said, highlighting the increase in the volume of goods traded.

He continued promising that the KRA would make a conscious effort to strengthen this emerging alliance. In his meeting with Okaniwa Ken, the Japanese Ambassador to Kenya, he disclosed that the KRA’s responsibilities extend beyond revenue collection and encompass the implementation of policies aimed at luring and retaining investors.

Wattanga said, “We are responsible for promoting investment, ensuring a favorable business environment, and facilitating trade.”

“We will continue collaborating with relevant government agencies to attract Japanese investors to Kenya,” he added.

In terms of trade facilitation and border security, Japan is seen as a crucial ally for KRA.

According to The Star Kenya, a Kenyan news outlet, the KRA has received support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in recent years for personnel border control tools, patrol boats, cars, and baggage scanners.

The ambassador of Japan to Kenya stated that one way to create an environment that is conducive to investment is through the implementation of workable tax laws.

“There are approximately 144 Japanese companies operating in Kenya and there are many other investors willing to invest in the country,” said Ken.

Kenya has strong ties to other international markets, such as China and other Asian nations, the partnership between the two countries is hardly surprising.

Kenya and China discussed enhancing their bilateral economic ties in the previous month. They pointed out that reaching out to China’s two industrial regions, Chongqing and Sichuan, could be accomplished through business-to-business and business-to-consumer contacts made at exhibitions.

Furthermore, Kenya announced earlier this month that it plans to revive road projects that China has been assisting with that have stalled.

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