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India a major player in Kenya's healthcare sector: High Commissioner Chhabra (IANS Interview)

IANS  |  Nairobi 

has emerged as a key sector and needs to build on this, Indias High to has said.

"The Indian industry has established its roots in Indian hospitals have begun investing not only in Nairobi, but also in other cities and could increase their presence in this sector," told IANS in an interview here on the sidelines of assembly.

"Over 10,000 Kenyan patients travel to (annually) for medical purposes and this underscores the need for affordable in Kenya," Chhabra, who is concurrently the Indian to Somalia, said.

Between them, these medical tourists spend some $100 million annually.

As per official figures, spends $482 million annually to import drugs, mainly from

"This opens up a window of opportunity for pharma companies keen to invest in Kenya," Chhabra, who has been in office since last November, said.

Kenyan has often invited Indian firms to set up units in this country and make it a regional distribution hub for generic drugs.

The establishment of a cancer hospital, the first India-collaboration in Kenya, has been announced at the highest level and discussions are underway to speedily take this forward, said.

India has offered to connect the leading hospitals of Kenya through e-Arogya Bharti network. It will help in training of medical professionals across the country.

In this context, noted that affordable healthcare is an element in the "big four" agenda that has rolled out to take the country on a development path. This offers several trade and investment opportunities to Indian companies, Chhabra said, adding that two lines of credit amounting to $45 million have already been extended to the East African nation.

"The government of Kenya has rolled out its 'big four' agenda -- food security, affordable housing, and affordable healthcare, to take the country on a development path to improve the lives of its citizens," Chhabra said.

The objectives set out in the agenda offer immense trade opportunities for Indian companies to invest in Kenya, he said.

Several Indian companies are already investing in the agricultural sector to provide seeds, pesticides, fertilisers and agricultural implements, among others.

Over 60 major Indian firms have offices and factories in the Kenyan capital. Tata and Airtel are household names.

According to Chhabra, Indian companies can establish and assembly units in Kenya. and construction are other areas which offer lucrative opportunities.

To improve India-Kenya bilateral trade, which is at nearly $3 billion, a number of buyer-seller meets are regularly organised, he said.

On India's agreement to extend two Lines of Credit amounting to $45 million for upgrading Kenya's manufacturing capacity, he said: "Modernisation of Rivatex (- Rivatex Ltd) is a shining example of success of India's Line of Credit."

"A total of $29.3 million was given through the The project is expected to be completed in the coming few weeks and will increase the installed capacity (of 10 bales a day) by about eight times," explained.

Another $15 million has been given for the development of SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) and is being implemented through

Chhabra also said Kenya is completing its internal procedures to soon join the (ISA), launched by India and at the UN Climate Change Conference in in 2015.

So far 74 have signed the ISA's Framework Agreement and 52 have ratified it.

A brainchild of Narendra Modi, the India-based ISA inter-governmental body has set a target of producing 1,000 GW of and mobilising over $1,000 billion into the generation of by 2030. Both India and Kenya have abundant sunlight.

(was in at the invitation of UN Environment. He can be reached at



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 24 2019. 11:10 IST