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Help cut business costs

By The Standard | March 23rd 2016

NAIROBI: Infrastructural development is one of the areas of success for the Jubilee-led government. Key projects with the potential to spur economic growth include the Standard Gauge Railway, the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor and the expansion of the inland road network.

While the construction of an oil pipeline from Uganda to the Port of Mombasa could improve our financial outlook, certain bottlenecks that make Kenya unattractive to investors have come to the fore and now that project lies in limbo. Simply put, the cost of doing business in Kenya is just too prohibitive. In fact, the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business placed Kenya at position 136 globally. Corruption, red-tape that prolongs the registration of new businesses, high power costs, insecurity, inefficiency and wastage are a turn-off for any potential investors.

Now when this translates into delays and losses, investors get driven away because ultimately, doing business becomes unnecessarily expensive. And those who choose to hang in there pass on the costs to the overburdened taxpayer.

As we fathom the uncertainty over the Kenya-Uganda oil pipeline, the Government should ensure that the cost of doing business goes down to make Kenya more attractive.

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