Kenya urges more trade, investment among African, Caribbean and Pacific states

Source: Xinhua| 2021-04-09 17:39:17|Editor: huaxia
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NAIROBI, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for more trade and investment among members of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), according to a statement issued by the presidency in Nairobi on Friday.

The OACPS needs to leverage on its past successes such as the existing Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), a trade and development deal between the European Union and OACPS, to become a more influential actor in the global economic arena, Kenyatta said.

The Kenyan leader is now the president-in-office of the Summit of OACPS Heads of State and Government.

"With a combined population of over 1.1 billion people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of about 3.2 trillion U.S. dollars, the transition from ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific group) to OACPS presents enormous opportunities for intra-OACPS trade and investments; and the achievement of greater shared prosperity for all our people," Kenyatta told a virtual town hall meeting of the OACPS on Thursday night.

The event was to commemorate the first anniversary of the revised Georgetown Agreement, which came into force on April 5, 2020. The agreement, adopted during the ninth OACPS summit in Nairobi in December 2019, introduced several reforms, including changing the name of the bloc from ACP Group of States to the OACPS.

The OACPS should aim for a transition that supports structural transformation to foster industrialization, diversification of economies and an increase in value addition of primary products, Kenyatta said.

He called for a multi-pronged approach to resource mobilization and welcomed the various debt relief mechanisms that "have created the needed fiscal space to reduce the negative effects of the pandemic."

"However, we seek a continuation of the debt suspension initiative; and debt cancellation, for the most severely affected countries," Kenyatta said. "The prolonged pandemic requires continuous mitigation measures."

He welcomed the completion of a new agreement between the OACPS and the EU, saying the pact will be signed later this month. Enditem