, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – Over 300 investors from the region and across the globe are in Nairobi with the aim of seeking business opportunities in Kenya.
The investors are attending a major two-day conference dubbed Kenya International Investment Conference (KIICO) where the government and the private sector are showcasing what opportunities the country has to offer.
Welcoming the entrepreneurs on Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta called on the investors to consider setting shop in the country as well as partnering with Kenya in fighting any kind of negative perception that would make the country less attractive.
“Kenya is safe. There is nothing that you will find happening in Kenya that is not happening in other parts of the world. But in actual fact we, and you know very well, are doing a lot to improve the security situation in the country,” President Kenyatta said assuring safety for both local and international investors.
This is the first ever international investment forum aimed at marketing Kenya with plans to make it an annual global event.
The forum has been organised by the Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism in collaboration with Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), Export Promotion Council (EPC) Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
President Kenyatta said the government has also embarked on developing a comprehensive national investment policy that will streamline incentives currently offered to investors and other promotion aspects such as local content and joint ventures.
“Investment is key to our economy. Without it, we cannot create the jobs that will sustain our young men and women or relieve the poverty that still disfigures the lives of our people. This is why my government is so assertively marketing the country and removing obstacles that still stand in the way of productive investment,” he said.
The conference comes at a time when the government plans to set up a state of the art one-stop centre to provide seamless and efficient services to investors.
The centre aimed at making Kenya investor-friendly, will bring all government ministries and agencies involved in investment facilitation under one roof.
Meanwhile, KNCCI Chairman Kiprono Kittony said the chamber will from 2015 register all entrepreneurs to ensure they not only gain from more investment partnerships and markets but also easily be able to air their grievances.
“We want to ensure that every small business person in this country has a voice. We really want to go down to the grassroots to support that business person who holds this economy,” Kittony who was among the speakers said.
Businessman Dr Chris Kirubi is on Thursday expected to be among the main speakers at the conference.