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CS Miano unveils agenda to transform Kenya into trade, investment hub

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Investments, Trade, and Industry Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano during an exclusive interview with KBC.

Investments, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano has outlined strategic priorities aimed at propelling Kenya into a prime destination for trade and investment.

Miano, who is just two months old into the Trade docket, says addressing the cost of doing business with a view to boost local manufacturing and attract more investors in the country is at the top of her agenda.

The CS is also leading a team that has been tasked to develop comprehensive business reforms action plan, an initiative meant to drive legal and regulatory reforms that will greatly reduce the cost of doing business.

“For a long time, Kenya has been concentrating on ease of doing business and we rank very well up to 56th globally and 3rd in Sub-Saharan Africa. Feedback shows that now we need not to look at the ease of doing business but the cost of doing business,” the CS stated.

In an exclusive interview with KBC’s News Anchor Jacob Kioria, Miano shared her goal of increasing Kenya’s exports by 30 per cent by 2025 which will in turn earn the country more foreign exchange, create jobs and spur economic growth.

“For us to increase our exports, there is a nexus that we must produce enough for our local market. There is no need of increasing exports and also increasing imports. We must reduce imports and increase exports,” she said.

The CS also revealed that the Ministry has identified various countries for direct foreign investments into Kenya.

“Over the last few years that has been dwindling to a low of even Ksh500 million only by the end of 2021 down from upto 20 billion dollars in foreign investments and therefore that will be a major focus,” she stated.

Miano further underscored the significance of the European Union Economic Partnership agreement that will facilitate duty-free and quota-free access for Kenyan goods in the 27 country European Union market.

The agreement which has been under negotiation for over 10 years was endorsed in the presence of President William Ruto and President of the European Union, Ursula Von Der Heyer in December 2023.

“As a country we must place ourselves in a position where we will able to have our products such as flowers, coffee, avocados and vegetables go to the European markets. The beauty and importance of this agreement is that, it proposes we do value addition here in Kenya and export finished goods to the European markets,” Miano opined.

Miano previously served as the East African Community, ASALs and Regional development Cabinet Secretary Ministry and was later moved to the trade docket following a Cabinet reshuffle by President William Ruto last year in October.

She acknowledged that the trade ministry is key to the country’s economic transformation agenda and has put her best foot forward to ensure all the deliverables are met.

“It is a critical docket catalytic to the development of this country. I have embraced the goals, priorities and the activities that we must undertake in order to deliver on the bottom-up transformation agenda.”