Kenya is poised to reap the benefits of enhanced trade and investment relations with Singapore, as both countries ratified a bilateral investment treaty that came into force on August 20, 2023.
The treaty aims to protect the interests of investors from both countries and create favourable conditions for business opportunities in Africa and Asia.
The treaty was announced at the 7th edition of the Africa Singapore Business Forum (ASBF) 2023, which took place from 29 to 31 August, 2023.
The forum, organised by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), attracted over 500 business and government leaders from 40 countries, who discussed the theme of “Driving Africa’s Growth through Digitalisation, Manufacturing and Sustainability.”
The forum also witnessed the signing of five agreements between Singapore and African companies, covering sectors such as manufacturing, digitalisation and technology, sustainable development, transport and logistics.
The agreements reflect the strong interest of Singapore companies to participate in Africa’s growth potential and diversify their markets amid the global economic slowdown.
Mr Tan Soon Kim, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Global Markets), EnterpriseSG, said Singapore companies are recognising the value of diversifying their businesses to markets further afield and have been responding to our call to explore Africa.
“This year, we have organised over 10 activities including business missions, webinars and workshops in sectors such as retail, healthcare, fintech, information and communications technology (ICT) and logistics, benefiting close to 400 companies. In 2023, the number of projects facilitated by EnterpriseSG to date exceeds that of 2022. These are projects where we provided support, including helping companies clinch new projects and set up offices in Africa,” Kim said.
The forum also featured insights from industry leaders on three of Africa’s fastest-growing segments: manufacturing, digitalisation and the green economy.
Speakers included Dr James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings, Frederick Teo, CEO of GenZero, Juliana Rotich, Head of Fintech Solutions at Safaricom, Marcel Golding, Co-Owner of Geomer Managerial Services among others.
The forum also highlighted the opportunities arising from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is expected to boost intra-African trade by 52 per cent.
Singapore brand owners and manufacturing services companies are keen to partner with Africa to address the growing demand for domestically produced goods in the continent.
Kenya is one of Singapore’s key trading partners in Africa, with bilateral trade in goods amounting to US$1.1 billion in 2022.