The government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the British Chamber of Commerce Kenya chapter (BCCK) to promote Kenya’s business climate reforms agenda.
BCCK, Business Integrity Initiative and the Department of Business Reforms and Transformation (DBRT) under the Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development, will establish a joint programme to identify and recommend areas for reform, host public-private workshops and build private sector capacity.
Speaking during the signing of the MOU at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Nairobi Wednesday, State Department for East African Community Principal Secretary (PS) Dr Kevit Desai said that business integrity is the foundation of international trade.
“While corruption is a global issue, it is a concern that has been raised in our discussions with businesses and international investors.
This MOU will create a platform to reaffirm Kenya’s commitment to strengthening the business climate. It will also build private sector participation in the digitization and automation of government services in procurement, revenue collection and cross-border trade,” said Dr. Desai.
He noted that the MOU will address the findings from the recent BCCK Business Integrity Market Survey which measures the impact of corruption in private sectors and recommend areas for reform.
“The survey conducted found that 66 percent of the correspondent companies in Kenya experience negative impact of their businesses from corruption. Of these annual losses of earnings relating to integrity, lapses are valued at 23 percent while losses of future investments at 20 per cent,” the PS disclosed.
Dr Desai further stated that there are 1,600 tariffs that have been formed to promote access into the East African Community states.
At the same time, BCCK Chairperson, Sonal Sejpal said that the work done by the chamber to generate evidence-based recommendations for changes of integrity, policies and practices has shown that Kenya has a strong legal framework for corruption.
She added that the focus of the MOU is to support the private sector, the Government and its development partners to enhance enforcement and expand implementation.
“The importance of nursing business integrity is at the heart of economic ties between Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK) through enhancing investments, boosting economic growth and making Kenya more conducive for business,” said Sejpal.
Meanwhile, UK’S High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott said that improving business integrity underpins both the UK-Kenya strategy partnership and building of a prosperous safer and healthier Kenya.
By Sammy Macharia and Jedida Barasa