State to establish one stop office for exporters

Written By: Benson Rioba/ Christine Muchira
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The government will establish a one stop office for exporters in the next two weeks as it seeks to streamline policies in efforts to boost exports.

Industry and Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya says, the new agency will also help SMEs involved in exports get their tax refunds on time and also access external markets.

“The Kenya Export Market Development programme documents key promotional events that will guide export market development activities, Developed through a consultative process involving both public and private sector stakeholders”, said CS Munya.

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The Kenya Export Market Development programme is aimed at consolidating and enlarging our traditional export markets: EAC, COMESA, EU and diversifying into new and emerging export markets of Eastern Europe, North America, Asia and the rest of Africa.

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“To spur manufacturing from the current 8.4% to 15%, Kenya seeks to enhance manufacturing output to Kshs. 2.235 billion and export 60% of the same to regional and world markets.” Added Munya.

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Last year, the trade deficit stood at 1.1 trillion shillings with Kenya exporting goods worth 612 billion shillings against an import bill of 1.7 trillion shillings.

The office will assist SMEs involved in exports secure their tax refunds on time to allow them have additional capital for their business and also sort out any outstanding tax issues.

Munya says the government is in the process of formulating a policy that will empower the Competition Authority of Kenya to protect local manufacturers from cheap exports.

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Government agencies as well as counties were urged to speed up the process of paying suppliers to ease cash flow challenges in the economy.

Stakeholders want the government to map key imports and advise manufacturers on what to produce to bring down the import bill.

Local manufacturers were encouraged to explore the Asian and regional markets with exports due to the regions’ high population.

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