OTTAWA, Canada, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today signalled Canada’s interest in growing trade and investment with Kenya and our intent to meaningfully engage when it comes to shared values.
Canada looks forward to both countries beginning exploratory discussions regarding a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement to help create a safer, more stable environment for investors and economic opportunities for both countries.
“Our government is focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Baird. “When it comes to African markets, Kenya is a major player, and increasing trade ties will benefit both countries.”
The potential for increased Canadian investment in Kenya is important and Canada is keen to explore opportunities for freer trade generally with Kenya and the East African Community, especially for Canadian natural resource companies, which are becoming leaders in the Kenyan mining and oil and gas industries.
Baird highlighted that greater commercial engagement and people-to-people ties come with the opportunity and responsibility to engage on protecting and promoting Canadian values.
To that end, Baird held a round-table meeting with defenders of the rights of sexual minorities in East Africa.
“In too many places, people are branded as criminals or made victims of violence because of their sexuality,” said Baird. “Canada is a leading defender of human rights for all, and I applaud the courage and conviction of those advocates working on the ground to improve the lives of sexual minorities.”
Baird also encouraged Kenya’s newly elected government to continue its engagement with the International Criminal Court.
Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs