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Foreign investments dip by 9% to Sh77 billion

By Nicholas Waitathu | June 30th 2015

Kenya received investments worth Sh76.84 billion last year from foreign Governments and international organisations in 2014. Data from the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) indicates that the investments decreased by 9.2 per cent in the period under review compared to Sh84.71 billion recorded in 2013.

KenInvest Managing Director Moses Ikiara said the country attracted substantial investments in the period under review despite numerous difficulties such as security threats and travel advisories. “Owing to the reforms the Government is undertaking in various economic sectors, more investors are expected into the country in coming years,” said Dr Ikiara. “We have achieved a number of milestones in terms of addressing the bottlenecks the country has been facing and thus expect to earn more investments.”

Speaking last week during an interview in his office, Ikiara said the Government plans to attract more than Sh150 billion worth of investment both from local and international investors.

Last week, KenInvest signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub to join efforts to increase investment and trade in the East African Community. Under the initiative, Kenya will benefit from Sh9.8 billion in new investments and create 10,000 jobs over the next five years.

President’s directive

He said the State set up the One-Stop-Centre (OSC) to ease work for investors. “Already, KenInvest, Nema and Department of Immigration and Kenya Power are in office. We are in the process of implementing the President’s directive on seconding senior officers to the One Stop Centre,” he added.

Ikiara, however, said the first quarter of 2015 saw an increase in the number of investment inquiries compared to the same period in 2014. “The number of inquiries received at KenInvest increased from 115 in quarter one of 2014 to 125 in 2015,” he confirmed. Ikiara observed Kenya will join the list of top 20 position in the ease of doing business annual ranking by 2020. Major investments came from Japan, Turkey, South Africa, Switzerland, Italy, USA and Malaysia. Others are the UK, Mauritius, India and Netherlands.

Out of the investment in Kenya, construction benefited most with 51.3 per cent, followed by energy at 10.8 per cent and ICT at 10.6 per cent. The service sectors (8.7 per cent), manufacturing (8.5 per cent), tourism (7.5 per cent), mining industry (one per cent), finance (0.7 per cent), agriculture (0.3 per cent).

 In 2013, Government established a Business Environment Delivery Unit to reduce the cost of doing business. “Establishment of OSC, digitisation at the Registrar of Companies to facilitate quick name search and reservation, registration of a business from 24 days to 24 hours and establishment of KenTrade - to facilitate cross border trade and establish, manage and implement the National Electronic Single Window System has simplified doing business,” he said.

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