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TRADE AND INVESTMENT

WHY INVEST IN KENYA-BRIEF

  1. EAST AND CENTRAL AFRICA’S LARGEST ECONOMY

Kenya is the largest and the most advanced economy in East and Central Africa; with strong growth prospects supported by an emerging, urban middle class and an increasing appetite for high-value goods and services.

Strong and large Regional player

Kenya is the dominant economy in the East Africa Community, contributing to more than 50 per cent of the region’s GDP.

Growing consumer market

Kenya has the second largest population within the EAC at 43 million and is growing at a rate of 2.7 per cent per annum. There is a rising trend towards urbanization, which is contributing to an increase in consumer demand for high value goods. This trend is forecasted to continue, with 50 per cent of the population expected to live in urban areas by 2050.

  1. LOW RISK INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT

Kenya’s investment climate is the strongest in the EAC, with FDI flowing in from emerging and developed markets and a high volume of multinational companies with regional and continent-wide headquartered in the country.

  1. STRATEGIC GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

Kenya’s geographical location makes the country ideal for strategic partnerships aimed at improving regional and global market share.

Regional connectivity
Kenyan infrastructure, including the Ports of Mombasa and the KE-UG railway, is the gateway to the vibrant East and Central Africa region.

International connectivity
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport functions as an effective air hub between Africa, Europe

  1. WIDE MARKET ACCESS

EAC

Member Countries; 5: Population: 143.5 million Total GDP: $110.3 billion Source: EAC Facts & Figures Report (2014)

Kenya’s membership of regional economic blocs, coupled with its strategic geographic position, make the country the gateway to the huge EAC and COMESA regional markets and a beneficiary of several preferential trade arrangements.

COMESA

Member Countries: 20: Population: 469 million Total GDP: USD 636 billion Source: COMESA (2013)

PREFERENCIAL TRADE TREATMENT

Kenya is a member of several trade arrangements and beneficiary of trade promotion schemes that include the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), World Trade Organisation and EAC-EU Trade Agreement.

TRIPARTITE (EAC-SADC-COMESA)

There will soon be Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) cooperation, a regional bloc of the EAC, COMESA & SADC nations – creating a potential market of over 600 million.

Strategy

  • Market Integration
  • Infrastructure development
  • Industrial development

Pillars

  • Harmonization and improvement of functionality of regional trade agreements and programs
  • Trade promotion
  • Joint planning and implementation of infrastructure programs
  • Free movement of business persons within the region
  1. POLITICAL STABILITY & FAVOURABLE INVESTMENT POLICY

Empowered by a new constitution and administration, the national and county Governments are approaching the private sector as a central partner in the development and growth of the Kenyan economy.

A new approach to the private sector

The Government regards the private sector as a key centre of economic and social development. It has signaled this shift in the Government’s orientation through the divestment of its majority shareholding in state commercial companies through the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

 

Business environment reforms

Kenya is making efforts to lower the cost of doing business by conducting extensive business regulatory reforms intended to substantially reduce the number of licensing requirements and to make the licensing regimes more transparent and focused on legitimate regulatory purposes.

Open market access system

Kenya has fully liberalised its economy and removed all obstacles that previously hampered the free flow of trade and private investment, such as exchange controls, import and export licensing, as well as restrictions on remittances of profits and dividends.

Devolution into County Governments

Empowered by the new constitution, devolution offers an opportunity for investment through localised innovation and through collaboration, by building commercial ecosystems that expand employment opportunities and empower local communities.

 

Investor guarantees

  • The Kenya Constitution guarantees against expropriation of private property
  • No exchange controls guarantee repatriation of capital, profits and interests
  • A Member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATIA), which both insure foreign investments against non-commercial risks
  • A member of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which arbitrates cases between foreign investors and host Governments.
  1. IMPROVING INFRASTRUCTURE

Kenya’s infrastructure landscape is also undergoing significant transformation as evidenced by commitment of over USD 20 billion towards infrastructure development through public-private partnerships.

Infrastructure strategy

Increasing investment in infrastructure under Public Private Partnership arrangements

 

·      USD 14.5 billion Konza Technology City “Silicon City” IT hub to be built on 5000 acres of land in Machakos County.

 

·      USD 5.5 billion Lamu Port Southern Sudan – Ethiopia Transport Corridor Construction of Lamu Port headquarters is in progress.

 

·      USD 3.6 billion Standard Gauge Railway links Kenya’s Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi.

 

·      USD 654 million Jomo Kenyatta International Airport expansion comprises of a 178,000m2 facility due for completion in 2017, complemented by Nairobi Commuter Rail Service linking the city centre to the airport.

 

·      USD 366 million The Port of Mombasa harbour channel was deepened by 15 metres and widened to 500 metres to accommodate larger vessels.

 

·      USD 360 million Construction of the eight-lane controlled-access 50km Nairobi– Thika superhighway was completed in 2012. It has led to the emergence of new businesses, especially in retail and
 real estate including the creation of three major malls.

  1. REDUCING COST OF ENERGY AND IMPROVING ENERGY AVAILABILITY

Kenya is ideally positioned to unleash Africa’s power generation capacity through its focus on green energy and cost effective sources of energy, set to contribute to a 5000MW increase in the national power grid.

Power & Energy strategy

Increasing share of power generated from green and more cost effective sources, with a target to increase electricity generation capacity by 5,000MW from the current 1,644MW to 6,700 MW in 40 months.

Key Power Project and Recent Resource Discoveries

  • WIND POWER PROJECT

300 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power Project valued at USD 823 million.

  • WATER DISCOVERY

Two new water sources at Turkana Basin and Lotikipi Basin holding 250 billion m3 of water, sufficient to supply Kenya for 70 years.

  • OIL DISCOVERY

Discovery of reserves by Tullow oil are estimated to extract as much as one billion barrels.

  • GEOTHERMAL POWER PROJECT

3,000 MW Geothermal Power Project in Baringo valued at USD 135 million.

  • COAL POWER PLANT

900 -1,000MW Coal Power Plant in Lamu.

  • NATURAL GAS PLANT

700-800 MW Natural Gas Fired Plant near Mombasa through a PPP.

  1. WELL ESTABLISHED PRIVATE SECTOR

Kenya’s private sector is substantial and includes a number of foreign investors.

Key players in voicing private sector concerns include: Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

  1. A SKILLED AND EDUCATED TALENT POOL

Kenya prides itself on its large, highly educated and skilled work force – with 55 per cent of the population aged 15-64.

  1. VIBRANT CAPITAL MARKETS

Foreign participation in NSE: 54.1 per cent of total equity turnover (January-June 2014)

 

 

INVESTMENT

Think investment- Think Kenya

Kenya is classified as lower middle income country  by the World Bank after rebasing its economy in 2014. It is the ninth largest economy in Africa, and the fourth largest in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kenya is also the largest and most advanced economy in East and Central Africa. Its GDP accounts for more than 50 per cent of the region’s total and in terms of current market prices, its 2014 GDP stood at $58.1 billion.

Kenya was ranked third globally, after Brunei Darussalam and Kazakhstan as the most improved economy in ease of doing business according to the ‘Doing Business Guide’ published by World Bank in 2016.

The improvement was mainly helped by reforms in resolving insolvency, starting a business, protecting minority investors and getting electricity. http://www.industrialization.go.ke

Kenya has a development program espoused in the Vision 2030. In this respect, policies as well as investment opportunities have been aligned accordingly to the Vision 2030 objectives. For more information visit http://www.vision2030.go.ke/

Kenya has a wide range of mineral deposits and this has led to significant growth over the years. The country has discovered huge deposits of oil. It also has  coal, soda ash, fluorspar, gemstones, carbon dioxide, iron ore, rare earth minerals, base metals and gold. http://www.mining.go.ke

Energy has been identified as one of the infrastructural enablers of the three pillars of Kenya’s Vision 2030, with an expected surge in energy use within the commercial sector. As a result, the government has formulated a power development strategy to exploit renewable resources available to her such as hydropower, geothermal, biomass, solar and wind energy. The government has undertaken legislative reforms sector to attract more investment in the growing sector.

For more information visit

 

SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES

The Government plans to roll out Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to boost Kenya's investment profile. This will replace the current Export Processing Zones (EPZ).

The focus of the new policy on SEZs is that goods be produced closer to raw material sources and investors handed preferential terms on matters such as licensing.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in September signed the Special Economic Zones Act 2015, which spells out key measures to revamp activities in the blocs. View Act

The special economic zones law provides incentives for industries to operate in designated zones.

The Act provides for numerous tax incentives for investors, including exemption from all existing taxes and duties payable under the Customs and Excise Act, Income Tax Act, East African Community Customs Management Act and Value Added Tax Act on all special economic zone transactions.

Enterprises at the SEZs will enjoy several tax incentives under a tightly monitored set-up to avoid losses of government revenue. The preferential tax terms will include value added tax (VAT) exemption on all supplies of goods and services to enterprises, reduction in corporate tax to 10 per cent from 30 per cent for a period of 10 years of operation and 15 per cent for the next 10 years.

The government plans to freeze new investments within its Export Processing Zones (EPZ) as it takes up the SEZs model.

The SEZs are currently undergoing a pilot program in Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu.

Click here for more information on Special Economic Zones

TRADE

Kenya is the gateway to Eastern and Central Africa regions. Her developed infrastructure and membership in the East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) make Kenya the ultimate trade and investment destination.

The country’s strategic location provides easy access to the EAC market with about 140 million people and COMESA with a population of 400 million.

Kenya’s Main trading partners include Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi Egypt, South Africa, European Union (EU) United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Japan, Pakistan and India.

EXPORTS

Kenya’s major exports  to the world include: Tea, Coffee, Sisal and sisal products Fish and fish products, Fresh fruits and vegetables, Nuts, Dairy products ,Honey, Cut flowers, Handcrafts, Tobacco and tobacco products ,Plastics, Rubber, Raw hide and skins, Paper and paper board, Woven  textile products, Petroleum products, Cement, Pyrethrum extracts, Livestock and livestock products, Processed foods, Textiles and apparels, Aluminum, iron & steel ,Limestone, Soda ash ,Fluorspar, Precious and semi-precious stones and tourism.

The largest destination for Kenya's exports is the East African Community (Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Kenya’s exports to the region are dominated by manufactured and semi-manufactured products, including refined petroleum products, metal scrap, beer, cigarettes, oils, perfumes, articles of plastic, consumer products and fabrics  and exports agricultural  products like tea of where our main markets are Pakistan, Egypt, UK.

The European Union (EU) is the second most important export destination for Kenya’s products. Kenya is the lead exporter of flowers to the European Union (EU) with a market share of over 35%. EU is also the principal importer of Kenya fresh produce (fresh fruits and vegetables). 

Other major export destinations include, United States of America, Middle East and Asia region

Imports

Kenya major Imports from the world include: Machinery and transportation equipment, Petroleum products, Motor vehicles, iron and steel, Resins, Plastics, agricultural products, Fish and fish products, Paper and paper products ,Iron and steel, Textiles, Cosmetics, Leather products, Pharmaceuticals, Fertilizer, Construction materials, Processed foods ,Electrical products.

For more information visit http://www.industrialization.go.ke

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