[17th February 2012]

OFFICIAL VISIT TO JAPAN BY KENYA’S EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL – EPC DELEGATION

From left to right: - Mr. Paul K. Ndung’u, Deputy Head of Mission Kenya Embassy; H.E. Ambassador Benson H.O. Ogutu; EPC Chairman, Hon. Peter Njeru Ndwiga; Ms. Ruth Mwaniki EPC Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Maurice Abuom EPC General Manager pose for a group photo after their meeting in Kenya Embassy - Tokyo on 14th February, 2012.

A delegation from Kenya’s Export Promotion Council (EPC) on Tuesday 14th February 2012 concluded a three day official visit to Japan. The three -man delegation was on an exploratory visit to Japan from 12th – 14th February, 2012. The delegation was led by its Chairman, Hon. Peter Njeru Ndwiga and included the EPC Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Ruth Mwaniki and the General Manager, Mr. Maurice Abuom.

During their visit the delegation held crucial meetings with both the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) officials respectively.  In their visit to JICA, the EPC delegation held useful bilateral discussions with a team of senior officials of JICA. The JICA team was led by the organization’s Director for Africa Mr. Ichiro Tambo. The two sides agreed on the need to continue and intensify the valuable partnership that already exists between JICA and the EPC ever since the latter’s creation in 2006.  They also agreed to work together to find practical ways to realize other projects that are critical to the operational effectiveness of the Export Promotional Council.

In their meeting with counterpart officials of JETRO led by Mr. Tomiyasu Nakamura, the Deputy Vice President of JETRO, the chairman of the EPC thanked JETRO for their valuable work in the promotion of bilateral trade between Japan and Kenya saying that this was in line with Japan’s commitments under the TICAD IV declaration. The delegation was particularly grateful because of JETRO’s recent initiatives to introduce Small and Medium Scale Japanese companies to the Kenyan market to explore available business opportunities.  The two sides noted the high export potential relating to Kenya’s products such as Green Tea, Processed Coffee, Nuts, Fruits and other agricultural products. The two sides also noted the existing potential for value addition using Japanese technology and agreed to work together to deepen and widen their bilateral collaboration to boost trade between the two countries. They also agreed to partner more closely to improve participation at trade exhibitions and other fora.

Before their departure to Kenya, the EPC delegation paid a courtesy call on H.E. Ambassador Benson Ogutu. During their meeting held in the Embassy at 3:30pm on 14th February, 2012, the EPC team briefed the Ambassador about their visit and the very fruitful meetings with both JICA and JETRO.

The Ambassador commended the EPC delegation for their commitment to strengthen linkages between the EPC and counterpart Japanese agencies both in Japan and in Kenya and encouraged them to work out modalities for participating in some of the International trade exhibitions held annually in Japan.  He said that this would be one way of expanding Kenya’s share of exports in the Japanese market.  

Other issues addressed during the meeting in the Embassy included the need to build the capacity of Kenyan exporters in the processing and packaging of Kenya’s Agricultural products, the promotion of public private partnerships as well as the export capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises.

H.E. Ambassador Benson H.O. Ogutu exchanging gifts with EPC Chairman, Hon. Peter Njeru Ndwiga at the Residence on 12th February, 2012

Hon. Njeru Ndwiga, EPC Chairman exchanging gifts with deputy vice president of JETRO Mr. Tomiyasu Nakamura.

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