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Statements by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Terens Quick upon the conclusion of the Greek business mission to Kenya (06 March 2019)
The business mission which was held in Nairobi, headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Terens Quick, opened up significant paths of collaboration for Greek enterprises in Kenya. The Deputy Minister had travelled to Kenya for related reasons in November 2018, and had also met recently in person with the Chief Administrative Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ababu Namwamba, in Brussels, on the margins of the ministerial European Union - African Union Summit.
The agenda of the talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and at the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as in the B2B contacts that representatives of Greek enterprises had with their Kenyan counterparts included, inter alia, issues related to energy, aluminium, construction, tourism, shipping, port cooperation, agricultural products, and standardised foods.
Upon conclusion of the business mission, the Deputy Minister stated:
“Beyond the B2B meetings, the results of which the Greek entrepreneurs themselves commented upon with satisfaction, I would like to remain on certain facts that resulted from the multi-hour talks we had at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Chamber of Commerce.
First and foremost is the fact that we agreed on the prompt signature of the MOU for the Ports of Piraeus - Mombasa, which had been delayed by Kenya. Kenyans have fully understood what I have explained to them. That the ships with their products, exiting the Suez Canal, can swiftly reach Piraeus, from where they can more economically and quickly penetrate Europe.
The second was a surprise. As the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Kiprono Kittony informed us, Kenya is a country that produces vast quantities of honey, from thyme and flowers, and it was requested of us that their companies collaborate with ours, aiming for the European and international market. As it was stressed, “two are more effective than one.” In addition, they requested contact with a specific Greek company which specialises in cosmetics made out of honey, with the possibility of founding a similar company in Kenya, on the continent with a market of millions of consumers.
They love us Greeks. And indeed, in jest, they told us that “they especially honour Greece’s history since many Kenyans are star athletes of the classically Greek sport, the Marathon!”
The third thing that they request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is for us to accept educated and multilingual young Kenyans to study at our Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy.
Finally, something from the field of politics and diplomacy. Kenya is a member of the British Commonwealth. I explained that if they should require intervention for issues of theirs in the European Union, in the post BREXIT era, they will be able to count on the support of Greece. Kenya is a very important country in East Sub-Saharan Africa, and we must include it in the sphere of our allies. Beyond our Diaspora which plays a linking role.
This reference by the Greek government was assessed very positively.”
At the meetings of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Greek Ambassador to Nairobi, Mr Moatsos, was present, as well as the Executive Vice Chairman of SEV, Mr K. Bitsios, and a representative of Enterprise Greece, Mr G. Zisimatos.
Finally, Mr Quick extended a formal invitation to the Chief Administrative Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Ababu Namwamba to visit Greece, and Mr Bitsios requested of his counterpart, Mr. Kiprono Kittony, with whom he signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, for a business mission from Kenya to carry out a visit to Greece.