Kenya is eyeing the United Arab Emirates investors to tap into various investment opportunities in the country.
Speaking during a virtual Kenya-UAE business forum, Industrialization Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia urged investors to take advantage of the Export Processing and Special Economic Zones in Lamu, Mombasa, Naivasha and Nairobi to expand their operation in Africa.
In 2020, the value of Kenya’s imports from the UAE was approximately 18 billion shillings while Kenyan exports to the UAE was valued at 4.2 billion shillings.
Kenya has launched various promotional activities to lure investors from the oil rich nation.
Kenya is ranked at position 56 globally in the ease of doing business, however, investors have in the recent past called on the government to bring online policies and regulations that make the country less competitive compared to its peers.
The government is now banking on public private partnership models with investors, especially infrastructure projects such as the ongoing Nairobi Expressway and the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Expressways.
The government has mooted the use of ICT facilitation portals and upcoming infrastructure projects in readiness for potential investments.
Kenya moved from position 170 in 2012 to position 56 in the World Bank ease doing business survey of more than 180 countries.
Kenya Investment Authority Managing Director, Dr Moses Ikiara, welcomed the cooperation saying: “We appreciate that the robust Kenya-UAE Cooperation has seen unprecedented growth in the number of Emirati companies setting base in Kenya. We appreciate the over 70 companies and others who have chosen to invest in Kenya.”
Adding that: “We urge the Emirati investors through this Forum to consider investing in Kenya by going into joint ventures with Kenyan companies or through PPPs.”