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The Garoda Resort in Watamu, Malindi. Photo/ COURTESY

Kenya

Kenya woos Italian investors to set up holiday homes

The Garoda Resort in Watamu, Malindi. Photo/ COURTESY

The Garoda Resort in Watamu, Malindi. Photo/ COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 2 – Kenya is seeking Italian investors to put up holiday homes in the country in a bid to increase tourism numbers and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the country.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie says this is among the investment options the country will be selling this month at the ongoing world expo 2015 taking place in Milan Italy until October.

Italians have heavily invested in the tourism sector especially around Malindi with organisations such as Finmeccanica and Clarion Merchandise already in Kenya.

“Italy is the ninth largest economy in the world; it is part of the European Union, which collectively represents the largest economic zone in the world. Following the maturity of the European market, investors are looking to invest in emerging markets. Italy has become one of the world’s largest sources of FDI,” she said.

Kandie says the Italian market has called on the Kenyan government to expand Malindi airport to enable direct flights to Malindi with the expansion allowing them to land bigger Jets on the runway.

Other investment options the country will be selling include investments in energy, agro processing, and infrastructure among other sectors.

Kenya plans to showcase at least 30 Investment projects and reach more than 150 potential investors.

“This month is however not only focused on Italy but also on her neighbours and the rest of the world we would like to trigger at least one incoming delegation of investors to Kenya,” she added.

The month of July has been designated as the Investment Theme Month and will see Kenya position herself as a premier investment destination.

Kenya’s 2014 FDI inflows hit 97.8 billion a 95 percent increase from 2013 that recorded Sh49.9 billion according to new data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development World Investment Report 2015.

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READ: Kenya FDI Inflows rises by 95pc to Sh97.8bn in 2014

The same data shows Kenya’s FDI inflows continued to outpace other East African countries that have previously attracted more flows mainly directed towards the resources extractive sector.

The tourism sector is seen to be picking in 2015 having contracted at 7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, a decrease compared to the 14.7 percent reduction experienced same period in 2014.

READ: Kenya’s economy expands by 4.9pc in Q1 2015.

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