Hong Kong is targeting investment and trade deals in Kenya in renewed effort to deepen its relations with the East Africa’s economic power house.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) this week led a delegation to Nairobi and Mombasa, eying investments in the Kenyan market.
It is keen to tap on investments under the government Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives, in a close collaboration with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).
The delegation which included ten leading companies held talks with the Kenyan business community and government in Nairobi and Mombasa, with KNCCI playing host during the six days visit that commenced on Monday.
Hong Kong companies are eying investments in Export Processing Zones (EPZ), export market, Special Economic Zones, logistics, real estate and trade.
Speaking during a Nairobi forum, KNCCI President Richard Ngatia encouraged private investors from Hong Kong to visit Kenya and invest through public private partnership initiative that the government of Kenya offers.
“Kenya has tailor-made services for investors such as industrial parks targeting domestic market, Export Processing Zones targeting export market, Special Economic Zones targeting both domestic and export market. The private investors from Hong Kong are encouraged to visit Kenya and invest through public private partnership initiative that the government of Kenya offers,” Ngatia said.
KNCCI chief executive Angela Ndambuki on the other hand noted that Kenya offers numerous investment opportunities, as it remains the largest economy in East and Central Africa.
“Why invest in Kenya, it is strategically located, has a wide market access, improving infrastructure and a well established private sector,” she told the Hong Kong delegation.
“Kenya is a hub for manufacturing, transport, services and ICT,” she noted, pointing out that the country’s GDP composition of agriculture (29.9 per cent) industry (19.5 per cent) and services (50.6 per cent), offers multiple investment opportunities.
In Mombasa, the Hong Kong delegation held talks with over 100 local companies on possible investments in logistics and trade.
“Hong Kong being a financial and logistic hub, we can learn, borrow and collaborate in many areas to make Mombasa, which is also a port city, the logistic hub for East Africa and beyond,” said James Kitavi, KNCCI-Mombasa chapter CEO.
Regional director for Africa and Middle East Hong Kong Trade and Development Council Daniel Lam led the ten visiting companies from Hong Kong.
Lam said this year, trade between Kenya and Hong Kong has grown by 16 per cent and exports ratings have risen by 12 per cent respectively.
“The Standard Gauge Railway remains the largest Chinese project in Kenya. China recognises the important strategic location Kenya has and SGR will help Kenya be the lead logistics hub. China imported 30,000 tonnes of Avocado from mostly South Africa and Australia,” Guo Ce, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor attached to the Chinese Embassy in Kenya observed.
HKTDC is a statutory body established as the international marketing dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses and one of the leading global finance centers.
“In furtherance of our growth agenda we have identified four critical areas that will, create jobs, improve livelihoods and afford our people a decent standard of livings. The Big Four Agenda clearly outlines these goals on affordable housing, universal health coverage, manufacturing and food security. I urge the local and international investors represented here to take advantage of the investment opportunities that Kenya and Hong Kong present to promote economic growth, employment creation, poverty eradication and sustainable development,” Ngatia noted.
Majorly, Kenya exports ores and concentrates of molybdenum, skin leather, edible nuts, precious stones, electrical apparatus, cut flowers and foliage to Hong Kong and on the other hand imports electrical equipment, coloring preparations, transmission apparatus, mall-wares and toilet articles from Hong Kong.