Kenya Woos Egyptian Investors with EU, US Trade Deals

Source: Kenya Wall Street

Kenya is banking on its trade deal with the European Union and its central location in East Africa to woo Egyptian investors to the country, government officials said during the Kenya-Egypt Summit in Nairobi.

The Ministry of Investment, Trade & Industry is targeting the North African Country’s investors to set up manufacturing plants that would enable finished products to easily access European markets, the strategy will in turn create income and employment.

“Kenya is a gateway to East Africa, if you manufacture here, you will be able to sell your products in eight East African Member States,” said Juma Mukhwana, Principal Secretary, State Department for Industry, Ministry of Trade and Industry said during the summit.

Early this month, Kenya inched closer to concluding a trade deal with the European Union following an endorsement of economic partnership agreement by the EU Parliament. The deal, which is awaiting final approval from EU heads of state and government, offers Kenya tax-free access of exports to 27 countries in the EU bloc.

“A similar deal with the United States is nearing conclusion, we encourage Egyptian companies to establish manufacturing plants in Kenya in order for the finished products to enjoy special treatment in the markets we are targeting with these trade agreements,” he said.

Trade Networks

The summit was organized by the Commercial International Bank (CIB), which is keen on fostering trade between Kenya and Egypt due to its presence in the two countries. CIB, which entered into the Kenyan market four years ago, via the acquisition of Mayfair Bank, is Egypt’s largest private sector lender by assets in excess of $24 billion and is listed on both the Egyptian and London stock exchanges.  

The bank’s niche lies in facilitating exports and it is working to grow business links between the two countries such as with tea, where Egypt is the second-largest market for Kenyan tea exports.

Kenya exports tea, coffee, nuts, meat, wheat and flowers, skin and hides as well as live animals to Egypt. On its part, Egyptian businesses export fertilizer, textiles, building materials, medicines, vehicles, electronic appliances, electricity accessories, and sports equipment among others.

“Since we now have a solid footprint in Kenya, we have provided a seamless platform for the businesses to unlock growth opportunities and we see that we can play an integral role in doing the same for Kenyan companies doing business with Egypt,’’ noted Ms. Daphne Maina, the Ag. CEO of CIB Kenya during the event.

Egypt is shifting its economic strategy by enhancing collaboration with sub–Saharan Africa through public-private partnerships like the Kenya-Egypt forum that attracted 40 Egyptian companies among them construction, transport, water, tourism, manufacturing, and healthcare.

The high-level Egyptian government delegation at the forum was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Electricity & Renewable Energy, and the Minister of Trade & Industry.

THE AUTHOR: Fred Obura

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