* Trade worth $1.4 bln last year
* Kenyan exports grew over 60 pct in 2010
By Helen Nyambura-Mwaura
NAIROBI, Feb 21 Trade between India and Kenya is
likely to rise by 20-25 percent this year after growing 23
percent in 2010, New Delhi's envoy to Nairobi said on Monday.
Turnover between the two was worth $1.41 billion in 2010,
heavily titled in India's favour. Kenya exported commodities
worth $107.1 million and imported $1.3 billion worth of Indian
goods. The figures do not reflect services.
"We have two economies growing at a significant pace. India
at 8 percent and Kenya at 5 percent. Given these two scenarios,
I would not be surprised if 20-25 is not maintained," said
Sibabrata Tripathi, India's high commissioner to Kenya.
"Our imports are less than exports but they have marked an
increase of over 60 percent," he said.
Inida exports a wide variety of goods such as vehicles,
motorbikes and pharmaceutical products to Kenya, while the east
African country exports mainly soda ash, mined by the Indian
conglomerate Tata Group.
Other Indian companies with operations in Kenya are Bharti
Airtel (BRTI.BO), Essar Group, which has an equity interest
in the country's sole refinery and the smallest mobile phone
operator that trades as yu.
Tripathi said two major listed banks were sounding out the
Kenyan market but declined to name them. Bank of India and Bank
of Baroda (BOB.BO) have been operating in the country for years.
"Kenya is increasingly becoming an attractive investment
destination for Indian companies," he said.
Engineering, automobiles, ICT, telecoms, pharmaceuticals and
services such as banking are sectors most targeted by Indian
investors looking at the country, Tripathi said.
Kenya and India ties date back centuries before England
imported Indian workers to construct a railway from the Indian
Ocean coast at Mombasa to Kampala, the capital of neighbouring
Tripathi said India would continue lending to Kenya through
a revolving line of credit through the East African Development
Bank and the PTA Bank.
India's Exim Bank has extended a $61.6 million loan to Kenya
for the expansion and repair of the national electricity
transmission network. [ID:nLDE71D149]
Tripathi said he saw investment potential in the healthcare,
education and tourism sectors for Indians interested in the
India offers 101 fully funded scholarships for Kenyans
annually to train in technical skills in sectors such as ICT,
engineering, forestry, and the commissioner said his government
had added 25 more for training in agriculture.
"I would like to see greater investment in healthcare, to
ease the burden of Kenyans travelling overseas for healthcare. I
would like to see joint venture facilities in Kenya," he said.
(Editing by Susan Fenton)