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All set for Japanese used car auction at Naivasha's dry port

 Vehicles as seen at the Isuzu General Motors (GM) parking yard along Mombasa road, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Special Economic Zones Authority (Seza) Chief Executive Dr Kenneth Chelule says preparations are in high gear for the launch of the inaugural auction of Japanese used cars in Naivasha, Nakuru County.

The auction will open its doors to the public on April 24, 2024.

Speaking during the Sossit talent and field day in Bureti constituency, Dr Chelule said the development will reshape the automotive landscape across Africa by substantially reducing the cost of importing Japanese vehicles.

"For years, lovers of Japanese vehicles have had to incur huge expenses importing cars from Japan and dealing with the complexities of trading through the Japanese Yen," he said.

"But that is now going to change through the launch of the Naivasha motor vehicle auction. The cost of the vehicles will be significantly lower."

One of the key features of this initiative is the decision to conduct transactions in Kenyan shillings, eliminating the complications associated with foreign currency transactions and empowering local buyers.

"Motor vehicle buyers from the rest of African countries will have to buy the Kenyan shilling to trade and thus make the shilling stronger," said Chelule.

In addition to the automotive advancements, Chelule revealed the allocation of 88 acres of land by the County Government of Kericho for the establishment of facilities dedicated to pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical equipment.

"The allocation enables the authority to guide potential investors interested in manufacturing medicines and non-pharmaceuticals to set up operations in Kericho. Investors in the zone are poised to benefit from attractive incentives, including tax exemptions," he said.

Chelule emphasized the broader impact of the medical hub, stating that it aligns with the goals of the Universal Health Care initiative introduced by President William Ruto.

"The establishment of this zone is anticipated to significantly contribute to advancing healthcare goals," he added.

Attracting investors

Kericho Governor Erick Mutai reaffirmed his administration's commitment to attracting investors by providing essential resources, including land and other incentives.

“The Kericho Special Economic Zone has the potential to generate a substantial number of jobs estimated at 250,000 for residents of the south rift region, while also addressing concerns of stagnation in Kericho town,” he said.

Ainamoi MP Benjamin Langat emphasized the attractiveness of the Special Economic Zone Act, which he sponsored in 2015.

“The Act positions any zone declared as a Special Economic Zone as a magnet for investors, fostering economic growth and development,” he said.

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