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UK market beckons Kenyan traders

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Local investors have been urged to open offices in the United Kingdom to boost trade and foreign investments in that country.

Chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Subash Thakrar said trade between the two countries is already heavily biased towards Kenya and this is beneficial to the country.

"We are here to encourage Kenyan business houses to try and look at coming to the United Kingdom to come and have a base. Lots of international businesses are setting up regularly in the UK. From an overview, we are seeing fundraising to venture capital for particular projects that might be in Africa that may create joint ventures associations with other cooperation that are based in the UK," Mr Thakrar said.

The Head of UK Trade and Investments for the British High Commission, Orlando Ames-Lewis said legislation, bureaucracy and corruption are some of the challenges facing foreign investments.

"At times, the perception of Kenya, and the perception of Africa in general is actually a lot more negative than it is in reality. So the challenge is showing businesses that they can do business here," Mr Ames- Lewis said.

LCCI is the UK\’s premier Chamber of Commerce and consists of a delegation of 20 companies from various industries including Construction Machinery, Renewable Energy, Healthcare, Animal Products, Agricultural Machinery, and Business Services amongst others.

These businesses are looking at establishing partnerships with local partners as well as tapping into various opportunities in the market. In addition to meeting with individual companies, the LCCI delegation will be meeting with members of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry, East African European Chamber of Commerce, British Business Association of Kenya and Kenya Association of Manufacturers amongst other groups.

LCCI is making a return to the market where they previously sent a mission in 2006, 2009 and 2010.  The Chairman of LCCI Mr Thakrar leads the mission that will also visit Uganda and Ethiopia.

The LCCI delegation is supported by HSBC Bank, which is the world\’s largest bank and a new entrant into the Kenyan banking industry.

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