The Kenyan flag

Johannesburg - The Progressive Business Forum (PBF) visited Kenya this week to strengthen business ties with the east African nation, the African National Congress said on Friday.

The international trade delegation was made up of about 60

people, representing about 50 South African companies.

The delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe and the co-convener of the ANC PBF, Renier Schoeman.

It arrived in Kenya on Monday and was to be back in the country on Friday (January 25) evening.

Secretary for the Ministry of Trade in Kenya, Abdul Razak, welcomed the South African delegation.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the anchor event of the visit was a business seminar co-hosted by the PBF and the Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The seminar was attended by Deputy Minister of Trade in Kenya, Manson Nyamweya, and Secretary of External Trade Simon Chacha Nyang.

In her speech, Thabethe said the meeting was important to create business-to-business engagement to explore the countries' markets.

She said South Africa was leading in mining, mobile phone, retail and tourism.

However, there were opportunities for growth in energy, healthcare, agro-processing and provision for first time banking in the financial services sector.

“Irrespective of size, scale or sector, success in doing business in Africa is founded on working with local partners of integrity who share the same values and vision for a better Africa for all,” Thabethe said.

Kenya was the economic lynchpin and had the potential to drive economic development because of its strategic location and a relatively developed infrastructure, Schoeman said.

He said the east African country had the ability to serve as either the locomotive of development of the region and further afield.

The PBF had deliberately chosen Kenya as the very first global destination of 2013 to show its commitment to Africa as trade and investment destination.

A similar visit by Kenyan business delegation would take place in the course of the year.

The PBF was formed in 2006 with the primary objective of creating an ongoing dialogue between the ANC and the business community. - Sapa