President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed the need for Kenya and the Caribbean state of Barbados to scale up bilateral engagement. Terming Barbados as a strategic partner for Kenya in the Caribbean, the President said the two developing countries need to work in solidarity in pursuit of closer ties especially with regard to South-South cooperation to cement the relationship that started almost 100 years ago in London when Pan Africanists worked together in the struggle for liberation. \u201cBarbados is an English speaking country with populations of African heritage. Our similarities are greater than our differences,\u201d Uhuru said during a welcome reception hosted by Barbadian Governor General Dame Sandra Mason at the start of his three-day state visit. First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Foreign Affairs Cabinet secretary Monica Juma and other members of the President\u2019s delegation attended the reception held at the Government House in Bridgetown.\u00a0 The President arrived in the country on Wednesday evening. The Barbadian Governor General said Uhuru\u2019s visit was a testimony of the friendly relations between Kenya and Barbados and demonstrated the importance the two countries attached to that relationship. \u201cOur relationship was established on the basis of mutual understanding, respect and dignity. Following this visit, I believe that our strengthened relationship will be expressed at a new level of interaction and cooperation,\u201d she said. Mason said the two countries share similar views on major issues such as efforts to address climate change and the recognition of the importance of sustainable development of the blue economy.\u00a0 Bilateral agreement During the visit, Uhuru will lead the Kenyan delegation in bilateral talks with Prime Minister Mottley and her delegation that will culminate in the signing of bilateral agreements to bolster cooperation between Kenya and Barbados. \u201cI look forward to engage with Prime Minister Mottley to discuss various issues of mutual interest pertaining to better connectivity between the Caribbean and the African continent, increasing trade between our two regions, matters of cultural exchange and how we can market the beautiful product (sandy beaches) that God has given us both in the Caribbean and the African continent,\u201d he said. The President\u2019s arrival in Barbados marks the second and last leg of his Caribbean visit that started in Jamaica where he witnessed the signing of four agreements to deepen bilateral and people-to-people ties for the benefit of the two countries. While in Barbados, Uhuru will meet with some visiting Caribbean leaders and attend a business forum that is designed to sensitise the business communities from both countries on the investment and trade opportunities in Barbados and Kenya.