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Government urged to capitalize on special economic zones to attract investors

The government has been called upon to capitalize on the special economic zones to attract more investors into the country and boost manufacturing which will lower the country’s import.

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Economic diplomacy chairman Ronald Meru said that the special economic zones offer incentives such as being tax-free zones and having state-of-the-art infrastructure which most investors are looking for.

Meru said that the country needs to have a conducive and predictable tax policy to attract more investors.

Speaking at a Nairobi hotel on Monday during a business meeting with their counterparts from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Meru said that the conducive environment being offered by the special economic zones has received interest from investors who want to get into value addition, agro-processing, affordable housing among other sectors.

“The only way to reduce our imports is to invest in local manufacturing by taking advantage of the special economic zones. The numbers are not on our side seeing that for every 11 containers that come to Kenya through imports we only export one container,” explained Meru.

He added that fuel consists of the largest bill of our imports with country exports majorly being coffee, tea, and horticulture.

“Our geographic location is a vantage point for Kenya with the port being a key entry point for the East African Community and that is why we are seeing stakeholders partnering with Kenya as their main point of entry into the region,” said Meru.

He added that they have received interest from investors who are keen to support the government in the affordable housing agenda and they are offering new technologies in the sector which are cheaper and faster.

“I would urge players in the construction sector to come partners with us and learn from the technologies and innovations being used to reduce the cost of construction,” said Meru.

By Damaris Munyao

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