Kisumu will next week host an investment summit targeting small businesses.
The Lake Basin Expo and Investment Summit (LBEIS 2017), to run between February 8 and 16, is modelled to re-ignite the economic potential of the lake region by bringing together Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from 12 counties in Western and Nyanza regions.
It will seek to explore existing opportunities and utilisation of the regions' resources, with emphasis on the economic bloc rather than the political boundaries.
"We have moved a step further in our quest to awaken the economic potential of the lake region. We are now bringing in local and international investors and linking them up with local businesses," said Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) National Vice Chairman Laban Onditi.
"The summit also aims at repositioning Kisumu as the regional trading hub and an investment destination of choice."
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More than 3,000 local and international investors from the US, UK, Australia, Turkey, South Africa and India, among other countries, are expected to take part in the forum.
KNCCI, in partnership with the Kenya Vision 2030, Aremant Group, Kenya Investment Authority and Brand Kenya Board, is working closely with local and international business associations and is wooing them to invest in agribusiness, tourism, construction and infrastructure, ICT, security, mining, manufacturing and fishing sectors.
"LBEIS2017 will unlock the regional bloc's potential to local, regional and global investors," said Aremant Group Chief Executive Isaac Mokaya.
"Worldwide, approaching investment from an economic bloc perspective makes it easier for investors to narrow down on the areas of interest as they are not limited by regional political boundaries. Economic blocs present a bigger market, a bigger demand and a bigger area of focus," he said.
Aremant Group and its partners have set aside $2 million (Sh206 million) towards the initiative. The summit is the first in a series of such events that are planned for the Coast, North Eastern and Central regions.