Kenyan President William Ruto on Wednesday 23rd November held talks with South Korea President Yoon Suk-Yeol at the Yongsan Presidential office in Seoul.
Both presidents witnessed the signing of Kenya Korea bilateral agreements with both countries pledging to strengthen their special friendship.
President Ruto is on a his maiden state visit to Korea since he was elected 5th President of Kenya in August this year. The two newly elected presidents commited to work together in deepening and strengthening strategic partnerships and enhance bilateral trade — especially in tea, coffee and tobacco.
Earlier on President Ruto announced during a meeting with Kenyans in Korea that his government will expand economic ties with South Korea to create business and job opportunities for Kenyans.
The president said Kenya will engage the South Korean Government to unlock opportunities in technology, trade, investment and maritime operations.
“We have about 300 Kenyans in South Korea, the next time I come to South Korea I hope we will have 10,000 Kenyan youth working here.” said Ruto and added that bilateral talks with the Korean president will also focus on securing markets for Kenyan products.
The Head of State said Kenya will focus on value addition with a view of exporting value added products.
“We must move from processing 5 percent of our tea to 50 percent in the next five years and in 10 years time we should be able to process every gram of tea grown in Kenya.”
Earlier on President William Ruto held talks with teh Speaker of the South Korean Parliament and asked the legislature to pass legislation that will ease trade between Kenya and South Korea. Ruto said Kenya, wants to increase tea, avocado and coffee exports to South Korea to match tech imports to Kenya.
The President observed that the current tariffs on Kenyan products impede trade and asked Parliament to reduce them.
He said: “The imbalance of trade favours Korea and Parliament can be instrumental in addressing this situation.”
President Ruto made the remarks at the Parliament building in Seoul, South Korea, when he held talks with speaker Kim Jin Pyo
President Ruto said Kenya will work closely with the Korean Government to enhance clean energy to mitigate the effects of climate change. Speaker Kim Jin Pyo pledged to support Kenya’s quest to increase agricultural exports to South Korea and secure job opportunities for Kenyans.
He said: “On employment opportunities, I will hold discussions with the Ministry of Labour and see how this can be enhanced for Kenyans.”