, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – Norway has chosen Nairobi as its Eastern Africa hub for the Norwegian-African Chamber of Commerce (NABA).
The Norwegian-African Chamber of Commerce Regional Director for Eastern Africa Felix Osok said the hub will promote Norwegian companies interests in Kenya by highlighting regional business opportunities in Norway and advocate for more funds and collaboration between Norway and Kenya’s public and private sector players.
Osok said Kenya provides a stepping stone to the larger Eastern Africa markets because of its strategic location and geopolitical influence in the region.
The NABA will seek to open opportunities in oil and gas, aquaculture and forestry and wood processing where Norwegian companies have a comparative advantage.
“The business and corporate leadership in Norway appreciates the fact that Kenya is the central hub for the EAC. The fact that its accounts for 40 percent of the region’s Gross Domestic Product has created a huge appetite in Oslo and the diversified economy offers Norway domiciled companies immense opportunities,” said Osok.
He said the renewed interest in Kenya would focus on both the public and private sectors because of Norway’s experience in managing natural resources for national interests and the highly developed private sector.
He added that Kenya ranks at the top in intra-East Africa trade with an average of 37 percent, making it an attractive proposition for the investor community.
Analysts say that Kenya’s highly skilled workforce and a great geographical location with fairly advanced transport infrastructure has attracted Norwegian interest.
Kenya is served by all the major airlines making it easier to access the European markets and the rest of the world.
Norway’s interest in Eastern Africa is driven by the opportunities in renewable energy, oil and gas, tourism, maritime, agribusiness and knowledge based services.
“Majority of the countries in the EAC are rich on natural resources, making it an attractive location for setting up a business,” said Osok.
There are 22 Norwegian companies operating in East Africa with 35 ongoing projects in trade, fisheries, agriculture, water, manufacturing, financial services, Information Communication and Technology and energy.
NABA is the largest private sector network of Norwegian companies operating in Africa with 80 member companies in total.