Kenya, UK in new pact to strengthen growing trade ties

When Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua held a consultative meeting with former British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott at his Harambee House Annex offices on January 12, 2023. [DPCS]

Trade and Investment Principal Secretary (PS) Abubakar Hassan has pledged Kenya's commitment to working with the United Kingdom (UK) government to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.

The PS said the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ministry and the British Chamber of Commerce Kenya sets up the framework for further cooperation between the two countries.

"We are going to work in a coordinated approach and intervene in a very targeted and pragmatic approach. As a State department, we oversee foreign direct investments (FDI) of up to Sh10 billion," said Mr Hassan.

The PS highlighted some of the procedures that should be followed by foreign investors before setting up in the country.

He urged investors to make full use of the services of the Kenya Investment Authority in having some of their concerns addressed.

"The President has also operationalised the National Investment Council chaired by himself and is the supreme decision maker," said Mr Hassan.

He also noted that the ministry is working on improving the taxation regime for foreign firms in a bid to attract more investments.

UK Prime Minister's trade envoy to Kenya Theo Clarke said the partnership between the two countries would not only promote investments locally but also see the creation of thousands of jobs for Kenyans. June Chepkemei from the Kenya Authority Investment said investors can now access most of the services offered by the agency under one roof.

"We are partnering with private sectors to ensure that we are more responsive, especially in handling complaints and inquiries by investors," she said.

The UK recently opened the Institute of Export and International Trade in Nairobi, the first in the continent. Businesses exporting to the UK will benefit from training and other tools as they transact with their British counterparts.

The opening of the office in Nairobi is a build-up on the Kenya-UK Economic Partnership Agreement which was signed in December 2020.

A statement from the institute said it has developed and delivered training, education and consultancy services covering the unique and specific aspects of both Africa's trade with the rest of the world and intra-African trade.

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