Govt drafting policy to establish business sector oversight body

Written By: Regina Manyara

Bata Africa president Alberto Errico has called on the government to protect local shoe manufacturers from cheap shoe imports that are eating into local shoe companies’ profits. Errico added that local manufacturers support production value chains that generate additional income to the government and there is need for clear policies to regulate imports, to promote the local manufacturing sector. With the government keen on increasing manufacturing to 15 percent of the GDP, a section of local manufacturers are warning that the government’s effort might be a mirage if government does not control influx of cheap imports into the country. Bata Africa President Alberto Errico says that flooding of cheap shoe imports into the Kenyan market is hurting their business. He called on the government to intervene and protect local manufacturers from cheap shoe imports adding that local companies support value chains that generate additional income to the government and create employment opportunities. In addition to the 400,000 military boots government tender, Bata will supply boots to the national youth service. Bata shoe company has scaled up its production to a current 25 million boots annually, this is after importing modern machinery and equipment from Europe in an expansion program.

The government is drafting a policy framework that will streamline and increase efficiency in the business sector through the establishment of an overall oversight body.

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Trade Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo says the move is geared at among others stemming multiplicity of government agencies, creating an equal playing field for entrepreneurs as well as harmonizing business policies, which have affected investments.

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The government has been in pursuit of political economic and social reforms to improve the business environment, having identified the business sector as an integral component of economic development and growth.

However, the multiplicity of regulatory agencies is among challenges hindering growth across sectors due to divergent policies.

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As such plans are underway to establish an overall oversight body to streamline the sector.

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PS Kiptoo, says this will go a long way in weeding out the unfair competition as well as increase Kenya’s attractiveness to investment.

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The new policy framework will among others integrate the informal sector and at the same time require all businesses to register under a Business Management Operations body.

Businesses are calling for speedy VAT refunds which they say affected their liquidity and hence operations.

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