Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has invited Indian companies to invest in Kenya and exploit its potential in manufacturing, housing, agro-processing, ICT and pharmaceutical sectors, as he promised them a conducive business environment.
During a meeting with Mr Shri V. Mutaleedharan, Minister for State for External and Parliamentary Affairs in Charge of Africa Republic of India at Karen Nairobi on Wednesday, the Deputy President said Kenya is a safe and lucrative investment destination for entrepreneurs.
“We invite more Indian companies to invest in the existing opportunities, including affordable housing, agro-processing and value addition, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment manufacture, ICT, creative economy, etc. These sectors are in line with the Government’s Bottom-Up Transformation Agenda (BETA). Investment in these particular sectors will help Kenya Government deliver on development priorities,” said Mr Gachagua.
He noted that Kenya has improved ease of doing business by putting in place key policy measures, such as ease of obtaining business permits, automation of all government services and exemptions of all startup companies from paying taxes on unrealized gains on employees allocated shares.
Other new measures introduced to attract investors, he said, include review and removal of requirement of 30 per cent equity shares to facilitate greater investments in ICT and other sectors and removal of VAT on export services.
The visiting Indian Minister paid a courtesy call to the DP at his official residence in Karen Nairobi where they discussed bilateral relations of the two countries, trade and investment as well people-to-people contact.
“India and Kenya have long relationship of people-to-people contact. We look forward to improve the bilateral relations, economic cooperation, political contact in the coming days,” said the Minister.
He further praised the Kenyan government for successfully hosting the Africa Climate Summit in September.
“I congratulate you for the Africa Climate Summit which established Kenya and President William Ruto as leader in the climate change field. We are happy in that direction the Kenyan government can consider joining International Solar Alliance as well as International biofuel alliance,” he said.
On the people-to-people contact between Kenya and India, he said “Indians are part of Kenyan life and Kenyan society and Kenyan government recognized Indians as the 44th tribe”.
Appreciating the development cooperation between the two countries, Deputy President Gachagua encourage India to take up more investment opportunities in Kenya with the assurance of continued support by the Government of Kenya.
He further observed that Kenya-India trade ties continues to grow.
“The trade balance is in favour of India at Ksh 211.42 billion (USD 1.76 Billion) in 2022. This presents huge opportunities for Indian private sector to invest in Kenya in order to help reduce the trade imbalance,” he said.
He added that Kenya offers an attractive investment environment, opportunities and appealing location, market access through the East Africa Community (EAC), African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) and African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) among others.
Major global brands have already invested in Kenya for ease of market access to the region and opportunities, the Deputy President said.
Some of the multinational brands include Standard Chartered, Google, Coca-Cola, Huawei, General Electric, Heineken, TaTa among others.
He urged more Indian companies to consider Kenya as their base for Eastern and Central Africa since Kenya has a very conducive environment for investors.