NAIROBI, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) — Kenya and Finland are set to sign a double taxation agreement in order to promote trade and investment relations, a Finnish envoy has said.
Finland’s Ambassador to Kenya Sofie From-Emmesberger told Xinhua that a draft agreement has already been prepared and is waiting approval from both countries.
“We are currently sensitizing investors in Finland on the growing opportunities in Kenya’s growing economy,” Emmesberger said on the sidelines of the launch of the Interpol Environmental Security Office in Nairobi late on Monday.
“The current level of bilateral trade is below the potential,” she said, adding that Kenya is important to Finland because it is the regional hub for east Africa.
“It is a member of major trading blocs in Africa such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community,” the envoy said.
Emmesberger noted that Kenya is at the center of one of the fastest growing regions in the world. “We are therefore encouraging Finnish investors to expand their presence in Kenya,” she said.
In 2013, bilateral trade between the two countries was approximately 35 million Euros. Kenya exported goods worth 17 million Euros while Finland exports to Kenya stood at 18 million Euros, according to the envoy.
She said Kenyan goods consisted of horticulture, tea and coffee, while Finland sold mainly information communication technology and power plant equipment.
There are currently no direct flights connecting the two nations. The envoy said it affects the volume trade among the two countries.
Some 2,000 Finns visited Kenya in 2013 while the Kenyan community in Finland stands at approximately 700, the envoy said.
Kenya is one of Finland’s seven development partners. In the current financial, total Finnish overseas aid to Kenya will reach 13.9 million Euros.
Under the Local Cooperation Fund, the Finnish embassy in Nairobi will disburse 11.6 million Euros from 2013 to 2016 to Non- Governmental Organizations in order to promote good governance.
Source: Shanghai Daily.com
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