By Vice Chairpersons Joy Cho and Choe Nam-suk with Editor Kevin Lee
President William Ruto of the Republic of Kenya said, “My country is a land of opportunity for Korean businesses and investors and a gateway to Africa.”
Speaking with the representatives of the Korean media at the residence of Ambassador Mwende Mwinzi in Seoul, including Vice Chairpersons Joy Cho, Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk and Managing Editor Lee Kap-soo of The Korea Post media, President Ruto expressed his confidence in Kenya’s market potential.
President Ruto arrived in Seoul on the evening of Nov. 22, 2022, had bilateral talks with his Korean counterpart, President Yoon Suk-Yeol.
Upon arrival in Seoul, President Ruto said, “My country is keen on expanding economic relations with Korea, and exploring areas of cooperation, especially in ICT, education, pharmaceutical and infrastructure."
Speaking at the Korea-Kenya Business Forum, Ruto said that the Kenyan government is ready to support Korean investors and businesses with benefits, including tax and other necessary instruments to facilitate more trade and investment between the two countries.
President Ruto said, “Opportunity that Kenya presents to investors and business people in this part of the world is not just about investment opportunities. It’s bigger than that. It’s an opportunity in Kenya and into the continent of Africa.”
He said, “Africa presents the opportunity of the future. It’s the next-born child for development for business and for investment.”
President Ruto's remarks come as he is traveling Seoul for a bilateral summit with President Yoon Suk-yeol. It is the first visit by a Kenyan President to the South Korea in 32 years. The two countries established diplomatic ties in 1964.
“My presence here is to confront to you of Kenya’s readiness to engage, to work together. I am here to underwrite the opportunities that you can have in Kenya and are available in our continent,” said President Ruto.
The Kenyan president also emphasized Kenya’s potential--how she has the youngest population and marks the highest return on investment. Ruto also said that Kenya is a signatory to many international agreements of regional groups, including Africa and the European Union, which can open more opportunities for foreign businesses in Kenya.
Korea established diplomatic relations with Kenya in 1964 with our embassy being the first mission in sub-Saharan Africa. Given Kenya’s significant potential for development, natural endowment, and position as a gateway and logistical hub into East Africa, the Republic of Kenya is strategically important in terms of our diplomacy towards Africa, among many other advantages.
While having continued to strengthen our relationship since diplomatic relations were established nearly over 60 years ago, Kenya has consistently supported us and become an invaluable partner in the international community.
Korea and Kenya have established future-oriented relations in various areas, especially high-level diplomatic visits, including Presidents, prime ministers, and speakers of the National Assembly; signing trade and investment agreements to promote economic partnership; and opening the Department of Korean Studies at the University of Nairobi.
Collaboration between Korea and Kenya will expand progressively into various areas such as development cooperation, science and technology, ICT, climate change, health care, new growth industries and various culture avenues