M a r k e t N e w s

Investors urged to take advantage of reforms

Posted on : Thursday, 20th November 2014

 Local and foreign investors have been advised to take advantage of the ongoing reforms to increase their investments, create more job opportunities and help eradicate poverty.

 
President Uhuru Kenyatta greets Mr. Maurice Vermersch, Chairman of the East African chapter of the Belgian Chamber of Commerce during the Launch of the Inaugural Kenya International Investment Conference at the KICC, Nairobi. Also present is Cabinet Secetary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Ms. Phylis Kandie and The Chairman, Kenya Private Sector Alliance Mr. Vimal Shah. Photo: PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta cited opportunities offered by the county governments, recent improvements in the country’s infrastructure and increased electricity generation capacity, as a sign that Kenya was the next frontier for local and foreign investors.
 
Driven by the expectation that Kenya’s exports and investment will increase steadily alongside a pick-up in the global economy, President Uhuru said the reforms pursued by his Government are expected to open a number of key business sectors to increase investment, of which investors were encouraged to take full advantage.
 
Uhuru said this yesterday while showcasing Kenya’s potential at the inaugural Kenya International Investment Conference (KIICO), a two-day event that attracted local, regional and foreign investors, private sector organisations, development partners, financial institutions, industry leaders and county governments, among others.
 
President Uhuru also received The Report Kenya 2014, which was presented by Robert Tashima, Regional Editor for Africa, Oxford Business Group. This 266-page document that took some 10 months to research outlines Kenya’s reforms and achievements over the past and the future outlook.
 
“We already have a standard gauge railway flagship project that will initially link Mombasa to Nairobi before connecting the entire East Africa region. We have also injected an extra 140 MW geothermal power and plan to add another 70 MW in December this year. The target is to increase Kenya’s power generating capacity from 5000MW plus, by 2017,” said Uhuru.
 
Single window
Installation of the single-window electronic system at the ports of entry, he said, has reduced the time for clearing goods from the port of Mombasa from 22 to 6 days, boosting efficiency and turnaround time at the port of Mombasa.
 
He said the process of achieving regional integration is in progress, including a plan to establish a free trade area that will link the regional economic blocks of the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).
 
“Kenya will be an ideal location for any investor seeking an opportunity in a 600 million (people) economy created by this integration,” said Uhuru.
 
During the plenary session, delegates lobbied for the State to revise its 20 per cent limit on the volume of goods manufactured within Export Processing Zones (EPZs), which can be sold in the local market. Investors also sought to know what opportunities were available to foreign firms keen to invest in Kenya’s geothermal power generation projects.
 
“We need partnership from the private sector to achieve the 5000MW target and this is why we have invited potential investors to sign up power purchase agreements,” said Uhuru while responding during a panel discussion.
 
He said Kenya has maintained the 20 per cent limit of goods from the EPZ zones as part of its commitment to the East African Community (EAC) protocol, especially in the textile industry.
 
“However, it has prepared legislation that will see establishment of special economic zones to remove this restriction.”
 
Uhuru also announced plans to link Kenya and Ethiopia within a year, opening up a market of 80 million people, which can be accessed by firms that set up operations in Kenya.

Source : n2eastafrica.net
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