Trade between UAE and Africa is expected to jump to 30 billion U. S. dollars in 2013, a UAE government official said on Thursday.
UAE Ambassador to Kenya Abdulrazak Hadi told journalists in Nairobi that this will represent a 27 percent increase in bilateral trade from the previous year.
"Due to Africa's fast growing economies, we expect total bilateral trade between UAE and Africa to hit 30 billion dollars in 2013," Hadi said during an UAE trade mission to Kenya and Tanzania on June 23-29.
The visit comes after high level talks between the two nations following the inauguration of Kenya's new government two months ago.
Senior UAE government officials and more than 25 UAE companies will visit the region to explore trade and investment opportunities.
He added that the volume of trade and investment between Kenya and UAE will expand as UAE's private sector is seeking opportunities in Kenya's aviation, mining, education, renewable energy, oil, gas and manufacturing sectors.
UAE Ministry of Economy Undersecretary Abdulla Al Saleh said Kenya will remain a strategic partner for the UAE, as it is the largest economy in east African.
He said the UAE is eager to boost further its business and investment relations with Kenya, as the African nation is recognized as east Africa regional trade and finance hub.
He noted that bilateral trade between Kenya and the UAE has been expanding steadily over the past five years. "In 2012 it reached close to 1 billion dollars," the UAE official said.
According to the UAE, there are more than 40,000 Kenyans living in the Gulf country, most of whom are in the hospitality and construction sectors.
Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said bilateral trade is in currently in favor of the Arab nation.
Data from the Ministry of Trade indicates that Kenyan imports from the UAE exceeded exports by approximately 630 million dollars in 2012.