President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday met Italian businessman, and former Benetton Formula One racing team boss, Flavio Briatore at the sidelines of the Kenya Business Forum in Dubai.
Uhuru shares special moment with Italian billionaire in Dubai [Photos]
The Italian billionaire owns two of the most exclusive hotels in Kenya and is a long-time friend of President Kenyatta
Photos of President Kenyatta and Briatore showed an excited Uhuru bumping into his long-time buddy as the two embraced in a tight hug.
“I was delighted to meet my friend Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, at the Kenya Business Forum in Dubai,” Briatore captioned a series of photos shared from the event.
Attendees of the high-level event included captains of industry and business executives from both Kenya and the Gulf region and other parts of the world.
The head of state sold Kenya as an investment destination and encouraged government officials to help investors set up businesses in the country.
Flavio Briatore multi-billion investments in Kenya
One such investor is Briatore, who has invested in two five-star hotels in Kenya - the luxurious Lion in the Sun Resort and the Billionaires Resort in Malindi.
The hotels are famed for hosting international celebrities such as British supermodel Naomi Campbell and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the past.
In 2020, the billionaire had raised concerns in line with President Kenyatta's clarion call, at the time seeking government intervention over what the businessman termed as a declining status of Malindi - Kilifi County, as a tourist destination.
"We have 10 resorts and close to 100 private villas in this area yet the local administration deemed it fit to set up a dumpsite in our midst,'' Briatore lamented, at the time.
Kenya business forum in Dubai
During the Kenya business forum in Dubai, the president acknowledged a need for Kenya to adapt to investor-specific needs and remove the bureaucratic red tape that undermined trade.
“We need to be the welcoming party. We are here to listen. We are here to facilitate. We are here to do what these investors require from us in order to come into our country to bring their investment, to help us create jobs, and to help us develop our economy,” President Kenyatta urged.
The head of state also recommended that Kenya provide an ideal opportunity for investment in sports tourism.
“Allow me to use this opportunity to invite the nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council states to come and experience our world-famous tourist attractions.
"We have a long history of trade, culture, and travel relations between the coast of eastern Africa and this region, and we are always ready to welcome you,” he said.
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