UAE businesses to benefit from opportunities in Kenya
Kenya has a lot to offer foreign investors and UAE businesses can benefit from the existing and unfolding opportunities. This was stated by Amb Dr. Amina C. Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Republic of Kenya, during her address at the country focus briefing at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dubai recently.
The Kenya government is actively seeking to partner with investors from the Gulf region by providing an array of investor-friendly options in major infrastructure development projects including LAPSSET, the Kshs. 2 trillion transport corridor linking Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia as well as the energy sector. There are many other opportunities especially in agro-processing, tourism, ICT, healthcare, and oil and gas, said Amb. Amina.
“Kenya offers a macro-economic environment supported by a modern financial sector, a vibrant stock market and a strong Private Public Partnership policy framework to facilitate engagement with the private sector,” she said, adding that the government has also established the Kenya Investment Authority which is a one–stop-shop for assisting foreign investors.
Amb. Amina Mohamed added that Dubai businesses are world leaders in sectors as diverse as financial services, communications, infrastructure and energy and have the experience and expertise to undertake major development projects needed in Kenya.
“The Kenyan economy has been performing well and expanded by 5.5 per cent during the third quarter of 2014. Medium term prospects are stronger and the economy is projected to grow by 6.4 per cent in 2015 and 6.6 per cent in 2016,” she said. The Kenyan Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, was speaking at the Country Focus Briefing: The Republic of Kenya, held in cooperation with the Embassy of Kenya at the Chamber head office recently.
The briefing was attended by Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Hamad Buamim, president and CEO, Dubai Chamber, and over 100 representatives of UAE and Kenyan companies.
In his welcome address, Buamim highlighted trade as a strong sector for future growth between Dubai and Kenya, which he said is now the 5th largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and offers an attractive combination of growing economic groundwork and a vibrant market economy.
“Over the past few years Dubai-Kenya trade has increased significantly as the non-oil trade between the two sides was Dh4.5 billion in 2013 while Kenya was Dubai’s 50th largest trade partner globally and third largest trade partner in Africa in 2014. Presently, there are 242 Kenyan companies registered with Dubai Chamber. Still, we would like to see these figures increase in line with our efforts to enhance business ties with the country.
“Aligning the needs of Dubai and Kenya and through increased cooperation, we can positively impact two-way trade and investment between the two countries,” said Buamim.
“Kenya’s strategic location and well-developed business infrastructure makes it a natural choice for Dubai investors as opportunities exist for investment in infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, ICT, power and energy and ports, rail and roads as these are areas where Dubai companies have extensive experience,” he added.
The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber informed that the Chamber has been working to build stronger ties with Kenya for a number of years. “Each year we organise the Africa Global Business Forum in Dubai to highlight the emirate’s role as a gateway into and out of the continent. Kenya’s business and political elite has participated and supported this conference and we hope to have their engagement for this year’s event in November,” he said.
Khaleej Times, 18 March 2015