Deputy President William Ruto has urged the private sector to lower prices of commodities in line with the reduced cost of production.
Mr. Ruto said the Government has reduced the cost of production as witnessed in the drop in the cost of electricity and fuel.
Speaking during the launch of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) strategic plan 2016-2018 at a Nairobi hotel, Wednesday evening, the Deputy President said the private sector should consider reducing the prices of goods.
“The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) which the KNCCI is part of promised to address the high cost of commodities if the Government moved to reduce the cost of production,” said Mr. Ruto.
“But now the Government has brought down the cost of doing business by lowering the cost of energy and fuel, it is our wish that the private sector keeps its part of the bargain,” added Mr. Ruto.
He said the Government has reduced the cost of energy from Sh 19 per kilowatt in 2013 to Sh 13.7 per kilowatt at the moment translating to a 25 per cent reduction.
“We have also improved the state of roads and security in the country as part of our measures to reducing the cost of doing business in our country,” said Mr. Ruto.
The Deputy President further said the Government has put in place measures to create a more conducive environment for investments in the country through legislations.
He cited the Companies Act, Insolvency Act and the Registration of Business Names Act as some of the legislations, which have been passed to give the business community the opportunity to do business in a friendly environment.
“The private sector should now seize this opportunity to create more wealth and employment as we partner in the transformation agenda of our country,” said Mr. Ruto.
Industrilisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed, KNCCI chairman Kiprono Kittony, vice chairman Laban Onditi Rao, several Principal Secretaries and representatives of development partners, CEO KNCCI Matanda Wabuyele among others attended the function.
Mr. Mohammed said the Government was committed to creating an enabling environment for business through instituting legal and regulatory reforms.
He said this was critical to realising Kenya’s goal of sustainable industrialization and inclusive growth.
“The Government is doing its best to create an enabling environment for investments for sustainable industrialization and inclusive growth,” said Mr. Mohammed.
Mr. Kittony said the strategic plan aims to promote, protect and develop economic interest of the business community in the country.
“The implementation of the plan anticipates new levels of creative and entrepreneurial thinking, collaboration, partnership, distributed leadership, resource mobilization and a change in in the organizational culture,” said Mr. Kittony.
The Deputy President at the same time asked KNCCI to focus their energies on matters of trade and commerce and concentrate less on politics.
“Politics has its own place. I ask you to carefully think and plan about how to take this industry to the next level as you are our solid partners in ensuring a sustainable industrialisation,” said Mr. Ruto.
He said the launch of the strategic plan would go a long way in the improvement of the business environment in the country.
“The plan we are unveiling today outlines an ambitious agenda that will transform the institution to deliver its mandate in the development of Small and Medium enterprises, trade and industrial development at national and county levels as well as advocacy for conducive business environment,” said Mr. Ruto.
The Deputy President assured Kenyans that the country’s economy was headed in the right direction.
“Kenya’s economy is at a good place. We are growing at a faster rate than the sub-Saharan Africa average and we are projected to grow at six percent over the next year or so,” said Mr. Ruto.
“In addition, we are an extremely attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investments according to Price Water House Coopers new study,” added Mr. Ruto.
He said Kenya is endowed with much economic potential, which if fully exploited will transform the lives of its people.
“We have so much economic potential in this country and we need all hands on deck to exploit them for the transformation of our society,” said Mr. Ruto.
He urged the business community to take advantage of the KNCCI commitment to strengthen advocacy, trade policy analysis and research to look for new opportunities.
“I understand that KNCCI got business opportunities worth Sh 48billion last year across the globe. This is really impressive,” said Mr. Ruto.
“We should put extra efforts to get more opportunities for the business community to exploit them and further improve our economy,” added the Deputy President.