Industrial park eases work with one-stop customs SEZ

Investment and Promotion Principal Secretary Abubakar Hassan with Nairobi Gate Industrial Park owner Dean Shillaw during the tour of the facility. [James Wanzala, Standard]

Nairobi Gate Industrial Park has launched a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with a gazetted customs control area.

This consolidation will allow businesses operating from Nairobi Gate along the Eastern Bypass additional efficiencies, including a one-stop shop for regulatory agencies including the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, customs, and the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA).

Speaking at the launch, the Principal Secretary State Department for Investment Promotion Abubakar Hassan underscored the importance of industrial parks in driving investment within the country, in addition to accelerating manufacturing and promoting skills exchange.

He said the industrial park has created 434 direct and indirect jobs and is expected to generate 10,000 more job opportunities as it progresses. “This inauguration is in alignment with the government’s vision and commitment to developing and implementing investment policies, and to coordinate the promotion of private investment into the Kenyan economy, including both foreign and domestic investment. It signals to us, and the world at large, that Kenya remains an attractive investment destination,” said Abubakar.

Developed by Improvon Group, Nairobi Gate SEZ was designed to align with the East African Community Customs Management Act requirements. This involved housing all relevant government agencies within the zone, including revenue, port, and customs control agencies, as well as entities like the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority, Kenya Urban Roads Authority, and Kenya Bureau of Standards, among others.

So far, the developers of the Nairobi Gate Industrial Park have invested $40 million (Sh6 billion) with a commitment to invest up to $160 million (Sh2.4 trillion) by the year 2035.

Dean Shillaw, the managing director of Impact North SEZ, which is the owner of Nairobi Gate Industrial Park, said the SEZ will provide additional value for businesses.

 “Because the SEZ is effectively an extension of Kenya’s border for imports and exports, a one-stop solution had to be provided to house all relevant government agencies. This allows us to provide unprecedented levels of ease for our tenants while allowing them to thrive within a well-planned industrial park,” said Shillaw.

“In addition to the warehousing and infrastructure, we have also installed multiple state-of-the-art weighbridges, customs-controlled gatehouses and other security measures that will allow the zone to operate as a fully functional and comparable area.”

Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) Chief Executive Kenneth Chelule emphasised the significance of Nairobi Gate, as it marks the first SEZ to fully integrate customs control provisions within the zone, following recent legislative developments.

“As SEZA, we believe that the Nairobi Gate Industrial Park represents the flagship SEZ that will unlock significant economic growth opportunities and create multiple jobs, positioning Kenya to compete not only regionally but on the international stage as a manufacturing destination of choice,” said Dr Chelule.

Nairobi Gate offers a ‘built to suit’ concept, in response to the demand for flexible, grade-A light-industrial properties.

The development is ideal for accommodating international warehousing, distribution, and manufacturing businesses, as well as local entities specialising in high-value items like pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, electronics, engineering components and FMCG and cold-chain storage.

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