Kenya, Barbados sign bilateral agreements on aviation, trade

By Hanan Redwan Published on October 07, 2021
Kenya, Barbados sign bilateral agreements on aviation, trade

Kenya and Barbados have signed three key bilateral agreements for cooperation in aviation, environmental conservation, trade and investment.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley witnessed the signing of an air services agreement, an MoU on the development of the national botanical garden of Barbados, and another one on the establishment of a Joint Committee on Trade and Investment, in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo signed the three agreements on behalf of Kenya while Ministers Lisa Cummins (Tourism and International Transport), Adrian Forde (Environment and National Beautification), and Jerome Walcott (Foreign Affairs And Foreign Trade) represented Barbados.

At a high-level meeting, Uhuru expressed optimism that the agreements would strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations.

He said Kenya and Barbados have steadily been working together to enhance cooperation.

"Together, we started and spearheaded the need to have the very first ever African-CARICOM Summit that was supposed to be held on the sidelines of CHOGM last year. Unfortunately, due to Covid, we were not able to do so," he said.

He said Kenya and Barbados are focused on deepening people-to-people interactions, adding that it was the people who could turn the good relations between the two countries into profitable and meaningful relationships.

The President informed Prime Minister Mottley that the interaction between the business people of the two countries would act as a catalyst for bringing many more people, not only from Barbados but also the rest of the Caribbean region, to Africa to engage in trade, tourism, culture, sports, education and other aspects of common interest.

Uhuru disclosed that Kenya and Barbados are exploring ways of establishing direct air and sea links to enable the free movement of people, goods and services between the two countries.

"This is one area where we are hoping to find great success that will make it easy for the businessmen and women, those seeking to re-engage with the African continent, to be able to do so without having to wait for visas from third parties," he said.

Prime Minister Mottley said the large number of members of the Kenyan private sector who attended the business forum in Barbados signified the seriousness the two countries have in strengthening their economic ties.

"Not even Covid can separate us. I think that all of us recognize now that we are in a marathon and not a sprint. And that we have had, in the past, to become resilient and this generation of Kenyans and Barbadians must be resilient to the times whether those times are affected by the pandemic or whether they are affected by the climate," he said.

Saying Kenya represents the cradle of civilization, Prime Minister Mottley said it was critical that Barbados partnered with Kenya as a bridge to the East African region and the rest of the continent.

Hanan Redwan

Hanan Redwan

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