Construction of the long-awaited Nakuru Airport will start next year in Lanet.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the county government was working closely with the Kenya Airports Authority to make the project a reality.
“The airport and the planned industrial park in Naivasha will be some of the crucial facilities that will come in handy in wooing investors to the county,” said Mr Kinyanjui.
The governor was addressing investors at the Nakuru International Investment Conference, which kicked off yesterday in Naivasha.
Kinyanjui said the airport would be used to transport fresh farm produce, including flowers, abroad, adding that it would also make it easier for tourists to travel to the county.
He expressed concern over the large tracts of unused land in the county, adding that his administration would engage large landowners to lease land to investors for farming as one way of making the country food-secure.
“There is a ready market for avocados, pyrethrum and dairy products in China and we are keen to tap into that market,” he said.
The governor promised that he would work with private partners to increase employment opportunities and grow the wealth of residents.
“In terms of GDP (gross domestic product), Nakuru comes third after Nairobi and Kiambu and that is an assurance to residents to have funds to spend on various products,” he said.
Kinyanjui said his government was working closely with the Kenya Electricity Generating Company and the Geothermal Development Company to produce cheap power to lure companies to the proposed industrial park.
“The move to extend the SGR (standard gauge railway) to Naivasha is a big plus for the county and investors. The new US flights means a new market for flowers produced in Naivasha.”
Investment and Industry Principal Secretary Betty Maina, who was the chief guest, said the national government backed the idea to set up industrial parks.
Ms Maina said industrial parks constructed outside Nairobi would be exempted from paying value added tax for their machinery and goods produced.
“The government is keen to revive the cotton sector and we have pumped Sh4 billion into Rivatex plant in Eldoret so that we can increase sale of textiles to the US market,” she said.
Maina said negotiations were at an advanced stage to make sure that goods produced in Kenya were exempted from tax in China.
“The government will restrict the exportation of unprocessed leather. We are challenging counties to work with pharmaceutical companies to set up factories in the industrial parks,” she said.
County Assembly Majority Leader Stephen Karanja said they would pass by-laws conducive to investors.