Kenya and the United Kingdom are holding a four-day Kenya-UK market Access Roadshow to bolster bilateral, trade and climate change efforts dubbed ‘Doing business in Kenya’.
While giving a keynote address yesterday, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) president Richard Ngatia called for more collaboration between the two countries particularly through Public Private Partnership (PPP) programmes to accelerate growth and foster trade balance.
“We invite UK investors to participate in export programmes through the development of industrial parks, establish Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in manufacturing, textiles and leather and automobile assembling initiatives.
We also seek cooperation in infrastructure development initiatives, that is, renewable energy development and increasing production capacity in industrial areas,” Ngatia noted.
The Chamber president appealed to UK investors to partner with Kenya on industrial diversification, investment programmes to enhance productivity through public-private sector initiatives especially in infrastructure development.
On matters of climate change, Ngatia said that, “We are faced with real challenges of our time related to the climate crisis and global emissions.
We need to embrace use of clean energy in production for the sustainability of lives, livelihoods and investments.”
Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta joined other world leaders in Glasgow, Scotland, for the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) for the UN Climate Change Conference to take collective action to tackle climate change.
The forum is being attended by dignitaries from the government, private sector, chambers of commerce and diplomatic corps and is being graced by Trade ministers from both Kenya and the UK.
“We also seek collaboration in capacity development initiatives in human resource development programmes through TVET development, skill enhancement and education exchange programmes,” he added.
He added that Kenya and the United Kingdom have a long history of sound bilateral trade relationships and economic cooperation marked by extensive bilateral collaboration in trade and investments, tourism, education, healthcare, labour exchange, military and climate action.
Within the four days, the trade tour will cover the cities of London, Scotland and Manchester.
To reduce the cost of trade and optimise market access in both countries, Ngatia called for a reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers for trade in goods and streamlining of regulatory barriers for services exchange.
Top exports from Kenya to UK are tea, coffee, spices, vegetables and cut flowers.
On the other hand, Kenya majorly imports vehicles, machinery, pharmaceuticals and electrical supplies from the UK.
Ngatia committed that KNCCI will work closely with the Chambers of Commerce in the UK to facilitate information collection on markets, export requirements and trade opportunities to disseminate to the business community in both countries.