, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group is seeking to tap into the growing intra-regional trade and better business regulatory framework in the East African region.
According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), East African Community (EAC) region exports by Kenya accounted for 27 percent of the exports which increased from Sh115.35 billion to Sh133.04 as of March 2012.
In the last 12 months up to March, exports to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda have all increased; except for South Sudan.
“EAC is currently the fastest growing region in the world and would be a major economic and trading powerhouse in the next few years given the emerging demographics and natural resource endowment as a result of the discovery of oil and gas,” KCB Group CEO Martin Oduor-Otieno said.
He noted that trade in the region was growing fast with exports to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region accounting for 35.2 percent, which increased from Sh115.6 billion to Sh173.5 billion.
Imports from the EAC region accounted for two percent of total imports and increased from Sh22.2 billion in the year up to March 2011 to Sh26 billion by March 2012.
Speaking during a KCB Corporate Banking Customer Workshop, Oduor-Otieno said the bank was focusing on products and services that would facilitate and ease intra-regional trade for both retail and corporate customers.
He added that demand for credit has increased steadily as the customers seek to expand their businesses into the region and engage in cross-border trade.
Some of the KCB Corporate Banking products include custody services, asset finance, insurance premium finance, corporate finance and trade finance.
The KCB Trade Finance Centre offers a full suite of trade finance solutions including bank guarantees, structured trade finance, documentary collections, letters of credit, LPO Financing, invoice discounting and post-import finance.
KCB Group was voted the best trade finance bank in Kenya in 2011 by the Global Finance Magazine.
Bidco Oil Chief Executive Officer Vimal Shah said effective leadership in organisations was key in reaping the benefits of improved government policy formulation projected in the economic blueprint Vision 2030.
He said the economic prospects for the future was bright given the heavy capital investments the country has put to infrastructure and the discovery of oil in Northern Kenya.
KCB Group has an expansive network of over 170 branches in Kenya, 14 in Uganda, 11 in Tanzania, 20 in South Sudan, 10 in Rwanda and one in Burundi.