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Kenya mulls national policy to spur investment

20 November 2014, 08:13

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday his government has embarked in the process of establishing an investment policy that will streamline incentives currently offered to investors.

Kenyatta said the policy will provide a framework for exploitation of trade and commerce opportunities available for local and foreign investors.

"We welcome investors to Kenya to complement local investments. My government is developing a national investment policy that will outline incentives, local content on the available investment opportunities among other things," he told participants attending investment conference in Nairobi.

The two-day conference is geared towards consolidating Kenya's position as Africa's gateway and prime investment destination.

Kenyatta said creating investments in the fast rising middle- economy country is key to eradicating poverty.

He said reducing household poverty which at the moment lies between 32 percent and 46 percent based on the World Bank findings, through creating employment opportunities is one of the social pillars in the country's Vision 2030.

He assured that his government is keen on prioritising policies that will spur investment to deliver the promise it made to uplift the lives of Kenyans.

To succeed in the war against poverty, Kenya and the East African region must embrace genuine investors from other parts of the world to complement local investors, Kenyatta said.

Also read: Report: Kenya most attractive to investors

"Investment is key to our economy. Without it, we cannot create the jobs that will sustain our young men and women or relieve the poverty that still disfigures the lives of our people," he said.

The president said efforts are underway to set up a state of the art one-stop centre to provide seamless and efficient services to investors.

"The centre -- one of the latest moves by the government to make Kenya investor-friendly -- will bring government ministries and agencies involved in investment facilitation under one roof," Kenyatta said.

"I have directed the Ministry of East African Affairs and other Ministries involved to hasten this process," he said.

He singled out the Standard Gauge Railway that will link Mombasa to Nairobi and eventually knit entire region together as one of the flagship projects on the offing to attract investment.

Other projects include the commissioned 140 MW geothermal plant to generate 5000 MW of power by 2017. The injection of 140 MW into the national grid has already cut the cost of power by nearly 30 percent.

Kenyatta said his government also launched a single-window electronic clearing system to hasten the clearance of imports and exports.

"We have cut the container transit time along the Mombasa to Kampala route from 22 days to six days. Export and import procedures are also now handled under one electronic framework," he said.

Kenyatta said commitments to bilateral investment treaties and signing of double-taxation agreements with key investing and trading partners have been accelerated.

Oxford Business group regional Editor for Africa, Robert Tashima presented the Kenya 2014 report which indicates that Kenya is now one of the best global destinations for investment due to its geographical position and competitive advantage.

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- Xinhua


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