Kenya, Singapore sign air cooperation pact

20:24, January 19, 2010      

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Kenya and Singapore have signed an agreement that will strengthen air connections between the two countries.

The signing of the agreement, witnessed by visiting Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong, will allow national carrier, Kenya Airways and Singapore Airlines to operate in the two countries.

A statement issued in Nairobi on Tuesday said under the air services agreement which was signed on Monday, the two countries granted their designated airlines rights to operate in either or both countries.

Under the agreement, air carriers from Singapore and Kenya have the flexibility to operate any number of air services between and beyond both countries.

The agreement also grants the airlines of the two countries the right to make stops in each other's territory. It also grants them the right to operate between the territories without any limitations or restrictions on capacity, frequency or aircraft type.

The agreement was signed by Kenya's Minister for Transport Ali Chirau Mwakwere and his Singaporean counterpart Raymond Lim.

The two countries also signed another agreement on technical cooperation. In the agreement, the Kenyan government, in its efforts to enhance the development of its infrastructure to support vision 2030, expressed the desire to share Singapore's developmental experience and expertise.

The government of Kenya agreed to engage Singapore Co-operation Enterprise (SCE) in the planning and implementation of affordable and sustainable public housing system.

The SCE was also asked to conceptualize, implement and manage three special economic zones in Mombasa, Kisumu and Lamu in Kenya.

The technical agreement was signed by Kenya's High Commissioner Festus Kaberia and Alphonsus Chia, the CEO of Singapore Cooperation enterprise.

Earlier Odinga and Lee Hsien Loong held talks where they explored various areas of economic and technical cooperation between Kenya and Singapore.

Odinga said there was need to increase Kenya's economic portfolio in Singapore to address the imbalance which is currently in favour of Singapore on the ratio of 1:10.

He noted that Kenya was open to trade and investment and asked Singaporeans to invest in Kenya's technical and infrastructure fields especially in ports, communications and tourism.

"We have also prioritized the development of energy sector and we are making investments in the production of geothermal, wind, solar, biomass and ethanol," he said.

Odinga assured his host that Kenya was ripe for investment, adding that the government had embarked on reforms to address concerns raised by international investors notably corruption, bureaucracy, insecurity and poor infrastructure.

He noted that Kenya could be the entry point for Singapore into the East African region. Odinga pointed out that the East African community was a large market of 170 million people.

Loong lauded the signing of the two agreements saying his government will quickly follow up on the signing by increasing its technical and economic presence in Kenya.

Source: Xinhua
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