India is the largest importer and exporter through the Port of Mombasa.
In welcoming Indian High Commissioner to Kenya H.E Yogeshwar Varma on his official visit to Mombasa, KPA chairman Danson Mungatana observed:
"In 2013 Kenya Export to India through the Port of Mombasa stood at 304,000 tonnes while imports from India stood at 4.1 million tonnes.
"The statistics reflects how significant India is to the Port of Mombasa although the trade balance is not in Kenya’s favour.
"This is a wakeup call to Kenyan manufacturers to explore and export more to this second largest most populace nation in the world."
The Indian High Commissioner to Kenya was accompanied by his Deputy Sushil Singhal and Defense Adviser Caption (NI) Nitin Kapoor.
India and Kenya have been experiencing growing trade and commercial ties over the years.
India is Kenya’s sixth largest trading partner and the largest exporter to Kenya.
Bilateral trade amounted to $2.4 billion in 2010–2011 with Kenyan imports from India accounting for $2.3 billion; the balance of trade is heavily on India’s favour.
Indian exports to Kenya include pharmaceuticals, steel, machinery and automobiles while Kenyan exports to India are largely primary commodities such as soda ash, vegetables and tea. Indian companies have a significant presence in Kenya such as Tata Group, Essar, Reliance Industries and Bharti Airtel operating here.
The Indian public sector banks including the Bank of Baroda and Bank of India have also operated in Kenya for a long time.
Kenya has been trying to promote itself as a tourist destination in India. However air connectivity between the two countries is limited and is provided by Kenya Airways between Mumbai and Delhi to Nairobi.
Air India Services to Nairobi, was the Airline’s second international destination, which begun back in 1951 but was shut down in 2010.
The KPA chairman added:
"I would like to appeal to the Indian government through your office to consider resuming the fights to Kenya.
"We are glad that India offers 101 fully funded scholarships for Kenyans annually under its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme for training in technical skills."
The Exim Bank of India has provided Kenya with a loan of $61 million for overhauling its national power grid. India’s Pan-African e-Network project seeks to make available tele-education and telemedicine facilities to African countries including Kenya.
Indian investments in Kenya are now worth $1.5 billion and India’s pharmaceutical exports have played a key role in making essential drugs avail-able at affordable prices.