Nairobi has been ranked as the only African city in global investors watch list, with many big companies opting for it as a natural starting point in entering or expanding new regions for investment.
This has resulted to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) accounting for more than 50 percent of the region’s total economy from investment facilities such as Mombasa Port and Standard Gauge Railway which serve the whole country.
Speaking at the Kenya-China Business Forum in Nairobi, KenInvest General Manager, Pius Rotich, said that the government has packaged incentives for investments such as direct import from China, special economic and export zones and joint ventures and partnerships.
“Investors should pay their required investment targets and taxes for them not to come into loggerheads with the government because Kenya’s business environment has improved,” he urged the investors.
He further said that through the Mombasa Port, Kenya and China can import textile, construction and manufacturing products as well as export agricultural products.
Rotich reiterated that Kenya Investment Authority (KIA) provides a wide range of pre-investment facilities in order to benefit investors which include economic zones setup, obtaining work permit, visas and tax registration.
The Wuxi Municipal People’s Political Consultative, Ye Qin Liang, said that the driving force for economic growth in Kenya is mining, agriculture and manufacturing industries leading to many Chinese businesspersons investing in Kenya.
He added that Kenya is financially sustainable because of its political stability thus enhancing currency fluctuation in terms of dollars.
Qin Liang said that China has become Kenya’s major investment partner being the main exporter of ceramic products, electronic devices footwear as well as furniture.
The Zuri Group Global Managing Director, Bobby Kamani, said that with a view of harnessing Kenya’s trade potential in the achievement of the ‘Big Four’ Agenda, Kenya seeks to unlock the trade and economic benefits offered by Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
“From a tax perspective, SEZs are considered to be outside the customs territory of Kenya, thereby, operating within the jurisdictional bubble that shields investors from taxes and similar regulatory hurdles that directly or indirectly impede trade,” said Kamani.
He further added that with a raft of tax and non-tax benefits, it is expected that not only foreign investors will be encouraged to invest in Kenya, but local industry players will also be afforded an opportunity to competitively access international trade.
Wuxi is a China regional business hub that deals with extensive manufacturing, including large industrial parks and textile products.
By Elizabeth Wambui/Judith Mshimba