President Uhuru Kenyatta begins a State visit to Russia and China today in the first significant step towards growing new markets in the East.
The Moscow visit will be dominated by discussions with business leaders on Kenya’s emerging role as a new frontier for oil, gas and mineral wealth, a statement from the presidential communications unit said.
Also on the cards will be Kenya’s drive to open new markets for traditional exports like coffee, tea, and fresh produce and investments in new sectors like innovation and technology.
While in Moscow the President and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will also visit Kenya’s athletics team at the IAAF World Championships before starting the official visit to China on Monday.
Like in Moscow, the visit to Beijing will be driven by business and investment interests, with a delegation of more than 60 industry captains paying their keep to join Mr Kenyatta on the tour.
In China, President Kenyatta will sign framework agreements on a power transmission project for Nairobi, economic and technical cooperation and a memorandum on environment protection.
Two projects under discussion between Kenya and China — the $2.5 billion construction of a standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Malaba and the $1.755 billion High Grand Multi-Purpose Dam project — will be reviewed during the visit.
The first couple will also visit several Chinese regions to experience developments in agribusiness and technology, including the city of Shenzhen, globally known for its electronics.
President Kenyatta has adopted his predecessors policy of ‘looking East’ for new markets or deepening existing relations in the traditional Indian Ocean Rim nations, Australia and Singapore.
The policy also targets the emerging powers like Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
On his way back from China, the President will have a stop over in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to promote Kenya’s trade agenda.