Tharman Shanmugaratnam, visiting Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, told a media briefing in Nairobi that Kenya has one of the most developed financial services sectors in Africa.
“Singaporean firms are seeking to partner with Kenyan firms in order to further entrench use of technologies in the financial sector,” Shanmugaratnam said when Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore government agency promoting the growth of Singapore’s overseas investments and trade, announced the opening of its Nairobi Overseas Center.
The Nairobi Overseas Center will be Enterprise Singapore’s third office in Africa, which will serve as its regional hub for East Africa.
The office is expected to facilitate Singapore companies’ investments in Kenya and East Africa, and promote partnerships between Singapore and East African companies.
The Singapore government delegation was accompanied by 20 Singapore companies who are visiting Kenya and Rwanda from June 12 to 14.
During the event, six Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed between Singapore and Kenyan companies across corporate governance, e-payment and trade facilitation.
Shanmugaratnam said that Singaporean entrepreneurs are also keen to invest in the transport, logistics, as well as agribusiness sectors.
He noted that Kenya is an ideal investment destination because it is the regional hub for Eastern Africa.
He added that East Africa has plenty of opportunities due to its large population, skilled human capital as well as growing middle class.
Yew Sung Pei, Assistant CEO of Enterprise Singapore, said that East Africa houses some of the fastest-growing economies in the continent.
Pei said that Enterprise Singapore sees great potential for Singapore companies to offer their knowledge and expertise across areas such as infrastructure development and manufacturing, which are key priorities in this region.
He noted that Kenya, with its stable growth and business-friendly environment, is the gateway to East Africa and so the Nairobi office is expected to broaden the network of East African partners and strengthen the Singapore brand in the region.
Currently, there are over 60 Singapore companies operating in Africa, across more than 50 countries, with 19 billion U.S. dollars invested in the continent.
In addition, the Nairobi Overseas Center will allow Kenyan and African companies, including Small and Medium Sized Companies, to leverage Singapore as a gateway to capture growth opportunities in Asia.