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Kenya urged to set up export fund

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29 – The Export Promotion Council has called on the government to establish an Export Development Fund (EDF) that will provide a pool of finances for exporters.

EPC Chairman Njeru Ndwiga on Tuesday said this would provide affordable and post shipment credit as well as finance international business transactions.

“For the sector wide interventions, it is necessary to establish a dedicated Export Development Fund. It will also be necessary to establish, an Export Credit Guarantee scheme and an Export- Import Bank as dedicated institutions to provide pre- and post shipment credit and also export guarantees to exporters,” Mr Ndwiga said.

Speaking during an Exporters’ Forum, Trade Permanent Secretary Abdulrazaq Adan Ali said as part of measures to further develop the export market, there are plans to integrate into the system the Small and Medium Enterprises that trade across the borders.

In addition, the PS said that the East African Community is in talks with the European Union to have preferential treatment of export of goods from the region.

“As we open up new markets, we are currently discussing with the European Union for us to get preferential treatment in terms of exports of our goods. We need to expand our capacity to be able to take advantage of this preferential treatment,” Mr Ali said.

EPC Chief Executive Matanda Wabuyele had earlier said that without EDF, it would have an adverse effect on sourcing for new and emerging markets in an ultra competitive environment as effects of the global economic crisis continue to be felt.

“The fund would assist exporters in mounting various penetration strategies that would see them have a wider market for their goods,” Mr Wabuyele said.

He said EDF would create effective dynamics in the export sub sector to support export promotion.

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“The fund would help us increase export volumes, enlarge the export scope, upgrade the competitive capacity of export products and services and penetrating new markets.”

Export Development Funds have been established in several African countries including Egypt, Ghana, Mauritius and Nigeria with notable levels of success.

He added that EDF would play a major role in enhancing the capacity of those in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector to increase contributions of exports to the country’s economy.

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