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India, Kenya to deepen economic, security ties

12 July 2016

India and Kenya on Monday signed seven agreements, including in the field of defence and security and avoidance of double taxation, as the two countries decided to deepen and expand cooperation in a range of areas.

Visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced extension of a concessional line of credit (LoC) of $44.95 million to the African nation to help development of small and medium enterprises and textiles in the country.

India will also build a cancer hospital in Kenya to provide quality and affordable healthcare.

After talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, Prime Minister Modi said Kenyatta and he had ''agreed that terrorism and radicalisation are common challenges for our two countries, the region and the whole world. We have agreed to deepen our security partnership, including in the fields of cyber security, combating drugs and narcotics and human trafficking.''

''The multifaceted development partnership is a key pillar of our bilateral relationship,'' Modi said at a joint media interaction with Kenyatta.

The two leaders laid great emphasis on the use of solar energy in daily life. India and Kenya both blessed by plenty of sun shine - are already working on an ambitious renewable energy programme and are also looking forward to work together under the International Solar Alliance, Modi noted.

The two countries are also cooperating in the healthcare sector and Modi said Kenya could replicate the Indian experience in medicare and become a medical hub in the region. ''We would be happy to support you in this process.''

Like India, Modi said, Kenya too has a young population and its workforce is sought after in the entire African region. Nurturing the human capital together can help serve the whole world, he added.

India has changed a lot in last two years. We are now the most preferred destination for FDI. In the year of 2015, we have received highest ever FDI. And for you the good news is that India is the largest trading partner of Kenya. India is also the second largest investor here. We will be happy to further remove the imbalance in trade between us. We will also be happy to enhance the level of investment in Kenya.

The MoU on defence cooperation entails staff exchanges, expertise sharing, training, cooperation in hydrography and equipment supply.

Modi said the two countries shared common interest in the security, including in maritime security, since they were connected by the Indian Ocean.

''Closer cooperation in the field of maritime security occupies an important place in our defence and security engagement,'' he said. Announcing that India would fully finance a cancer hospital in Kenya, Mr. Modi said it would not only benefit the Kenyan society with quality and affordable healthcare but also help India become a regional medical hub.

Besides MoUs in defence and security, revised pact on avoidance of double taxation and two LoCs, the other agreements were in the fields of visa and housing.

''India is Kenya's largest trading partner, and the second largest investor here. But, there is potential to achieve much more,'' said Modi, on the final day of his Kenya visit and the last leg of his 4-nation Africa tour.

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