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Kenya, Norwegian agencies seek to increase investments, trade

30 August 2014, 10:29

Nairobi - Kenyan and Norwegian agencies on Friday inked an agreement in Nairobi to increase trade, investments and economic development in the east African nation.

The deal inked between the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) and the Norwegian Government Agency for Trade and Investment Promotion, Innovation Norway will enable 22 firms from Norway to invest in Kenya after having identified projects and opportunities in the country.

KenInvest Managing Director, Dr. Moses Ikiara said the investment agency will strive to increase the number of Norwegian companies investing in the country so that small and medium enterprises can gain relevant technology and expertise.

Ikiara said the total trade volume between Kenya and Norway in 2013 was about 68,000 U.S. dollars hence the partnership to increase the volume of trade between the two countries.

"We have partnered with Innovation Norway to encourage investors to invest in the county," Ikiara told journalists during the signing of the MoU.

Areas of collaboration will include identifying trade and investment opportunities suitable for promotion to Norwegian Companies as well as support and move for the execution of a suitable taxation agreement between Kenya and Norway.

Others include advice and guide interested investors and traders on policies opportunities and guidelines for investment and trade bilaterally as well as organizing trade and investment delegations and fairs between the two countries.

Innovation Norway Director, Jens Claussen said the agency which established its first office in Nairobi in February has identified projects and opportunities.

Claussen said the office, the first one in East Africa region, is currently working closely with key government interlocutors and the business community in the region.

"Currently we are assisting more than 10 Norwegian companies with entry into the market; both for trade and investment related opportunities," he said.

KenInvest is actively seeking ways to increasing the pace of growth of investments in the country.

One key avenue being pursued is the initiation of partnerships with commercial and economic sections of foreign missions in Kenya in identification of investment opportunities, marketing and promotion, project profiling and matchmaking between large investors and members of the MSEMs sector.

The agreement also aims to support the one stop center to attract and to facilitate investors' registration in Kenya.

The two agencies also aim to jointly advocate for better and more conducive policies and procedures.

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