Will Nairobi and Tokyo’s New Partnership Counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative?
Nairobi and Tokyo are determined to strengthen cooperation, not least so they can jointly stand up to China. But various fiscal and business obstacles still stand in the way of a deeper partnership.
The two countries have a long history of trade and investment, but recent years have seen a growing interest in deepening their relationship. In 2019, Kenya and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding on economic cooperation, and in 2020, they agreed to establish a joint economic and trade committee.
There are a number of reasons why Nairobi and Tokyo are keen to strengthen their ties. Both countries are facing similar challenges, including rapid population growth, urbanization, and climate change. They are also both interested in expanding their economic and political influence in the region.
China is a major player in both Kenya and Japan. The country is Kenya’s largest trading partner, and it is also a major investor in Japan. However, both countries have concerns about China’s growing influence. They fear that China is using its economic power to exert political influence, and they are concerned about the environmental impact of China’s investments.
Nairobi and Tokyo believe that they can work together to counter China’s influence. They have already begun to cooperate on a number of issues, including infrastructure development, climate change, and security. They are also working to increase trade and investment between the two countries.
However, there are a number of obstacles that stand in the way of a deeper partnership between Nairobi and Tokyo. One obstacle is the difference in economic size. Japan is a much larger economy than Kenya, and this can make it difficult for the two countries to agree on trade terms. Another obstacle is the lack of direct flights between the two countries. This makes it difficult for businesses and tourists to travel between the two countries.
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