Welcome Remarks by Mr. Kiprono Kittony, National Chairman, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Deputy Minister for Development of the Hellenic Republic, Hon. Athanasios Skordas,

The Hon. Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of East African Community, Tourism and Commerce, Ms. Phyllis Kandie

The Honorable Greek Consul in Kenya, Ms Vicky Pantazopoulou,

Distinguished Government Officials present,

Distinguished Members of the Greek business Delegation,

My fellow Kenyan Business Persons,

All Protocols observed

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the entire membership of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Kenyan Business Community in general and my own behalf, I am very gratified in taking this opportunity to very humbly welcome all members of the Greek visiting delegation to Kenya and  in particular to this Business Forum .

I understand that for most of you it is your first time to set foot not only in Kenya but on the African Continent. Kenya has so much to offer ranging from business to enviable entertainment scenes. Looking at the programme we have, during your visit here I can see you visited the nearby Nairobi National Park yesterday, while the other few places scheduled are only business sites. After business I urge you to extend your time to see one of the most beautiful sites in the world and one that this country is famous for. You may visit our famous sandy beaches at our coastal strip or one of the world’s biggest National Parks – the Tsavo or the Maasai Mara with its unmatched variety of wildlife. I am sure you will really enjoy yourselves and will live to remember your first trip to Kenya as an exciting one.

As the Chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry I will take just a little of your time to introduce my organization. I will do so although I know majority of you being business people know about Chambers of Commerce because they exist in every Country. While perusing my office files I came across some communication between the Kenya Chamber and the Athens Chamber of Commerce & Industry sometime in 1994. In fact our National steering Committee while preparing to receive this delegation had floated the idea of a possibility of the Kenyan Chamber signing an MOU with the Greek Chamber of Commerce and Industry but the idea was not followed up due to lack of current contacts between the two. I am sure we will have an opportunity to look at that after this forum.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry was registered as a non- profit business membership organization. It is the umbrella body of the Business Community representing the interests of the micro and small to the large enterprises cutting across all sectors of the economy. The Chamber, as we call it, has a network in all the 47 Counties of the country. Its objectives include the protection, promotion and development of the commercial and investment interests of its members and the entire Kenyan business community. In doing so, the Chamber works very closely with the Government and all trade and investment promotion agencies both locally and in the International market arena. We continuously lobby and advocate for a favorable business environment besides providing a wide range of business development services. We are also represented and participate in various regional and internal trade negotiation forums such as EAC, Comesa, WTO, EU-ACP and many others.

Our major focus as a Chamber today is to create business linkages between our Kenyan entrepreneurs in foreign countries. With the current rapidly emerging market dynamics and globalization, the international trading arena has become just like a village market. Business people must go beyond their national borders and far away to do business. I think this is the major purpose of this gathering. You have come here to find people you can partner with and find a safe and lucrative place you can invest in either singly or with others.



Ladies and Gentlemen,

The theme of our visitors’ mission is dubbed “The 1st Hellenic Trade and Investment mission to Kenya.” They are very right. This is the first time I have witnessed such a well organized big Greek Trade delegation to this country. They have come and started at the right place. Why? It is said that Kenya, particularly our port of Mombasa, is the gateway to the East and Central Africa. This is so because when you start doing anything in Kenya, particularly doing business, you can easily do it with the Kenyans themselves, easily move across its borders to all neighbors such as Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and even far and away countries like Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Central African Republic and Zambia. In short, all the EAC and Comesa countries all of which Kenya enjoys very preferential market arrangements with. A Market of over 400 Million mouths to feed.


Ladies & Gentlemen

The current trade with Greece is undesirably low. Let us address this by increasing our trade and investment flows and diversifying the range of products we have been trading in. Again this forum will hopefully go a long way in achieving this.  It will increase business information flows which I am sure have been very low as well. Similar and continuous forums should be encouraged here and in the Hellenic towns.

It has been noted that the Greeks are far ahead of Kenyans in terms of expertise in many technological fields in areas such as construction, infrastructure, agro processing, energy, pharmaceuticals, textiles, furniture, Manufacturing and in many other sectors. Some of these are in the profiles of the delegates we have with us today. We at the Chamber have tried as much as possible to invite as many relevant business people as possible to match with you. I know it is impossible for you to meet all the prospective partners you may require at the short period you will be here. But all will not be lost. You should be at liberty to contact our Chamber at all times. We have necessary branch networks to reach any prospective business partner you may require from any part of this country.


Ladies and Gentlemen

As I always say this is majorly a Business Function and I don’t intend to use more of your time. My work was simple. To welcome you. The details and other detailed explanations will be dealt with by our relevant State Agencies as indicated in today’s programme.

Welcome once again and I do hope you have a fruitful, successful and enjoyable stay in Kenya.

Thank you