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Estonian investors seek Kenyan opportunities

By Lee Mwiti | November 15th 2016 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Under the aegis of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI), the delegation is being hosted by their Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) counterparts. PHOTO: COURTESY

A delegation of Estonian traders is in the country looking for investment opportunities in the ICT and coffee sectors.

Under the aegis of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI), the delegation is being hosted by their Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) counterparts.

They mainly target the nascent ICT sector, to which the Government has dedicated a lot of resources as part of its Vision 2030 economic blueprint.

KNCCI Chief Executive Matanda Wabuyere yesterday said the lobby visited Estonia in May, where both entities signed a memorandum that would see Estonians invest more in Kenya.

“Currently, the balance of trade between Kenya and Estonia is hugely skewed in Estonia’s favour,” said Mr Wabuyere .

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“The volume of trade between us and Estonia is $18 million (Sh1.8 billion). Of this, we import goods worth $16.7 million (Sh1.7 billion) from Estonia while we export goods worth $1.3 million (Sh132 million).

 That is why we need to look for more opportunities to trade with Estonia,” he added. Kenya exports, fruits, coffee and flowers to Estonia while it imports cereals and machinery from that Eastern European nation.

Among the Estonian companies that have shown interest in investing in Kenya are the coffee roasters, Coffee People who will be visiting coffee farms and co-operative societies with the aim of buying coffee directly from them.

ICT firm GOSwift, which designs and operates queue management services, is also looking for investment opportunities.

While also encouraging Kenyan businesses to invest in Estonia, ECCI Chief Executive Mart Palts noted that Estonia ranked position 17 out of 189 countries in the Ease of Doing Business Report 2015 by the World Bank.

“In Estonia, you need a minimum capital of 2,500 Euros (Sh274,825) to open a company,” said Mr Palts.

“Our laws also allow for 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies. On top of that, we have abolished the corporate income tax whereby firms that reinvest their profits avoid their profits being taxed,” he added.

 Mr Palts said Estonia will take over the presidency of the European Union (EU) in 2017, which will further strengthen ties between Europe and Africa. KNCCI Chairman Kiprono Kittony urged Estonians to also invest in other profitable areas such as tourism.


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