Businessmen want Govt to crackdown on counterfeits
14 April 2015, 09:34
Nakuru - The leaders of Nakuru business community have called on the government to tighten its grip on counterfeit goods which they said threaten crippling the manufacturing industry.
Led by Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nakuru chapter chairman, Joseph Mbuthia Gichuru, the business leaders said counterfeit goods were chocking the market and denying governments taxes.
“We call upon the relevant government ministry and the anti-counterfeit agency to step up a serious war against counterfeits in all parts of the country,” said Gichuru.
He added: "Counterfeits have also discouraged foreign companies who want to invest in Kenya. These fake goods undercut Kenya’s growing and diversifying economy, reduce foreign direct investment by making it hard for investors to transfer technologies and cost local manufacturers millions of shillings."
He said importation of substandard goods had an adverse effect on the economy, the survival and sustainability of local industry and the much needed employment.
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They warned that counterfeit businesses also posed a serious danger to consumers, adding that many accidents on the roads are caused by sub-standard spare parts imported or locally manufactured as counterfeits.
Gichuru urged Kenyans to build Kenya by buying genuine Kenyan products. He said these would boost the economy and generate more jobs.
Stressing that counterfeit cartels thrived in the country through corruption, he called upon officials involved in the importation of products to be patriotic and wary to curb entry of such products into the country.
The moguls called upon the anti-counterfeit agency to create awareness campaigns to familiarise Kenyans with counterfeit products and the dangers they posed.
“As the lead agency in the counterfeit war, ACA must take up the ‘Big brother’ role effectively and coordinate other State agencies to tame the menace. Unscrupulous traders must not be allowed to cripple local industries," he noted.
The illicit trade cuts across a catalogue of products ranging from household goods, motor vehicle spare parts to pharmaceuticals.
The ever-rising smuggling of counterfeit products in the manufacturing industry has forced both Eveready company which had its factory in Nakuru and Cadbury company which operated in Nairobi to shut down and relocate to other countries.
A survey by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) estimates that some firms have lost 70 percent of their market share in East Africa to bogus products with East African economies losing about KES 70 billion annually due to counterfeits.
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