Photograph — Financial Tribune

Catalonia Trade & Investment (CTI), a Catalan government agency that promotes foreign investment and business competitiveness has opened an office in Kenya to facilitate direct trade linkages. Headquartered in Barcelona, the agency currently operates globally through a network of 40 offices all over the world.

Kenya has become an investment hub for foreigners looking to tap into its vast market with services and products and become competitive through expansion. The move is a two-way investment in all the goods and services sectors through direct and joint venture investments. Staff in the Nairobi office has been visiting industrial areas with a view of establishing available opportunities for Catalonia-based businesses.

Robert Bach, CTI’s director in charge of East Africa markets, said, “We are a government agency tasked with promoting investments into the East African region and we identified Kenya as a strategic location to establish a presence for our planned East Africa expansion.”

He further added that executives in three Kenyan companies have been selected by the region and will be sponsored to attend a three-day Agritech fair in Barcelona.

Also, discussions are ongoing to introduce Spain’s popular Sangria wine product to Kenya through a joint venture between a Catalonian company and a Kenyan firm. The Catalonian company will source for ingredients from Catalonia for local processing in Kenya.

Another Catalan-based company is negotiating with a local farmer society with regards to introducing drones and information technology into precision agriculture.

According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, in 2018 Kenya made about $7.27 million from export to Spain. The Kenya Embassy in Madrid is fully committed to enhancing bilateral relations with Spain in areas of high potential such as trade and investment, tourism, education, health, culture and science and technology.

Notably, earlier this year, the Spanish government opposed CTI’s intention to open new offices in Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Tunis, claiming the region is overstepping its role as a political entity within Spain.

By Tobiloba Ishola

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