Indian investors make beeline for business opportunities in Kenya

By Lee Mwiti and Jean Ruhiu | Saturday, Sep 8th 2018 at 00:00
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(From left) Kiprono Kittony national chairman Kenya national chambers of commerce and industry, Suchtra Durai (C), High Commissioner of India, Nairobi and Principal secretary water supply and chairman government of Gujarat Prasad Gupta (right), during Vibrant Gujarat' Roadshow and Networking Lunch on September 7, 2018 at Intercontinental Hotel. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

A delegation of more than 30 companies from the Indian state of Gujarat is in Kenya looking for investment opportunities in diverse sectors.

The delegation, which is being hosted by Indian High Commissioner to Kenya Suchitra Durai, is interested in the energy, health, information technology, textiles, mining and metals sectors.

According to Ms Durai, the business leaders are also keen on agriculture, especially agricultural mechanisation.

She said the sector presents endless opportunities for investors, with provision of food security being one of the pillars in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda.

Most industrialised

“I have been here for some time and I can tell you that Kenya is a very wonderful place to conduct business. Check the kind of opportunities the Kenya Government has in its Big Four agenda,” said Ms Durai during a forum with the delegation in Nairobi Friday.

According to the India High Commissioner, India has advanced $120 million (Sh12.1 billion) in government-to-government credit to Kenya for the textile industry.

The Asian economic giant has also advanced $200 million (Sh20.1 billion) for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) lending in the country.

“We will also be advancing a $61.6 million (Sh6.2 billion) line of credit for the energy sector. We also plan more credit for the health sector,” said Ms Durai. According to figures from the Indian High Commission, Gujarat is one of the most industrialised states in India, accounting for a quarter of the country’s exports. The region has nurtured its economic growth through a creation of Special Economic Zones.

It is also the home of one of India’s globally most visible vehicle brands – TATA.

Speaking at the same forum, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) chairman Kiprono Kittony told the delegation Kenya is a vibrant and growing economy that they should take advantage of if they want good returns. “Our Gross Domestic Product has been stable and moving upwards of five per cent. We are now ranked at number 80 in the Ease of Doing Business Index by the World Bank. We are targeting to climb to top 50,” said Mr Kittony.

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