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Uhuru woos investors with SGR freight deadline extension

By Graham Kajilwa | Published Wed, May 16th 2018 at 08:52, Updated May 16th 2018 at 09:04 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto at the launch of Sh7billion beverage manufacturing plant by Coca-Cola

NAIROBI, KENYA: President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to revise tax regimes in a bid to woo more investors in the country.

The president said he will be seeking to revise downwards some of the taxes as well as power charges to give manufactures a good environment for business.

He however did not give any time frames for these as he maintained that he does not want ‘to raise hopes too high’ as the government is still keen to secure the country’s economic positions.

The President also extended the current promotional freight charges on Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to December 31, 2018.

The favourable charges of a flat rate of Sh35,000 for a 20 feet container from Mombasa to Embakasi depot, and Sh40,000 for a 40 feet is expiring on July 1, 2018.

The fair charges are meant to entice manufacturers and other businesses to utilise the rail in transporting their produce during import and export.

“We believe that easing the burden on manufacturers will increase the achievement of our prosperity,” said Uhuru.

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The President, who was accompanied by his Deputy William Ruto and Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Aden Mohammed was speaking during the unveiling of a Sh7billion beverage manufacturing plant by Coca-Cola.

The plant, utilises the latest technology in juice processing and packaging called hotfill and is the only one of its kind in the region. The beverages are filed in the bottles at hot temperatures of about 85 degrees and then cooled to maintain taste and preserve their nutrients.

The technology was key when Coca cola through its Minute Maid brand started manufacturing juices with pulps (fruit chunks) to provide customers with the original taste of fruits in the beverages.

The president lauded the development saying it does not only cement faith that Kenya has a good environment for investment but also propels his Big Four agenda which seeks to increase jobs in the market through the manufacturing sector.

“This shows that the priorities we set as a nation have also struck a chord with our partners,” said President Uhuru.

He added: “We have not(yet) lived to our full potential, neither has our prosperity been shared equally among others. Kenyans want a country that works for all of us with skilled workers, good medical care and jobs.

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