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Kenya to host international investors meet

WINDMILLSNAIROBI, Kenya Oct 27 – Kenya is set to host an international conference on investment targeting regional and international investors in a bid to spur economic growth in the country.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie says the conference which is the first of its kind in Kenya will take place on the November 19 and 20 and will attract about 1,000 local and international investors keen to invest in major national and county development projects.

Kandie says the government will be rooting for investors to be keen on key infrastructure projects that are going on in the country that include, the Standard Gauge Railway construction, the Galana irrigation project, tourism sector projects, Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPPSET) Corridor project among others.

She urged each county to begin preparing to sell their investment opportunities so as to spur growth and create job opportunities as the conference targets to bring together all the 47 county governments, private sector and project promoters to exhibit their various investment opportunities and projects to investors, and export products to potential buyers.

She says the conference will see Foreign Direct Investments increase as part of the government’s plan to triple the inflow in the next three years, from the current Sh46 billion that was recorded in 2013.

On his part, Kenya Investment Authority Chief Executive Officer Moses Ikiara highlighted some of the incentives the country will give investors that include 10 year tax holidays, another 10 year lower taxes as well as infrastructure benefits for investors who will invest in Export Processing Zones (EPZ).

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Ikiara says investors seeking to invest more than $2 million (Sh178.8 million) will get 100 percent allowance on taxes when they invest in major towns that include Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret while those investing in other counties will get 150 percent tax allowances.

“We are planning at finalising developing an investment policy that will keenly look at the incentives. It will be ready by the end of this financial year (June 2015),” he said.

Following this conference, plans are being made to make this an annual event.

This comes as Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rises by 25 percent to Sh4.76 trillion following the government’s rebasing (new formula to calculate GDP) of the economy from the previous Sh3.8 trillion (which was rebased in 2001).

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The rebasing lifts average per capita income in Kenya to USD 1,246 (Sh111.26), effectively meaning that the country moves to lower middle income status.

With the rebasing of GDP, Kenya’s growth rate for 2013 has also been revised higher to 5.7 percent growth in 2013 from an estimated 4.7 percent.

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