Kenya is classified as lower middle income country 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.
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 is rich in oil, coal, soda ash, fluorspar, gemstones, carbon dioxide, iron ore, rare earth minerals, base metals and gold.
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.
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.
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.
For more information visit