NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Trade deals worth more than Sh142 billion are expected to be signed during the ongoing 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi has said.
Speaking during a high level Chief Executive Officer’s match-making for over 100 CEOS globally during the ongoing UNCTAD 14th conference, Kituyi urged the private sector to take advantage of the forum to make business deals with each other.
He urged the private sector to address Africa’s infrastructure gap which is estimated at $93 billion per year.
Kituyi also urged the private sector to be at the fore front in spearheading regulations that enhance business and limit corruption.
“Across the board companies can commit to certain acceptable conduct, that is soft law making, government regulation which converts soft law into hard law is best severed when its emulating soft laws developed by enterprises themselves, if the private sector doesn’t develop soft law, it runs the risk of being casualty to much harder law that is not easy to implement,” he said.
On his part, Kenya Investment Authority Managing Director Moses Ikiara said already, Kenya is gaining attention with firms taking advantage of the conference to find investment opportunities in Kenya.
“Already we are in talks with a firm that wants to put up a factory in the country that will create about 10,000 jobs and have exports worth Sh1 billion. There is also a firm that wants to put up a car manufacturing plant and is looking for local joint partners; there is also a firm that intends to put up an innovation campus,” Ikiara told Capital FM Business.
He says the Authority will do an analysis of how Kenya has benefitted from UNTCAD in the coming weeks and give an exact report.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance Chief Executive Carole Kariuki says there is a lot of private sector companies that have shown interest in getting into the country.
Key interest in the country are infrastructure, energy and healthcare among others.
“Africa’s private sector is coming of age. Hamstrung by a crippling environment and burdensome government policies for decades, it is now poised to assume it’s critical role as the engine of economic growth and poverty reduction on the continent,” Kariuki noted.
Under the theme ‘Global Business Partnership Experience’ the forum included top CEO’s from Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia and America with a focus on handling discussions around business partnership across borders, investment opportunities and doing business in Africa.
“What also came out from the forum is that Africa needs to put up a Continental Investment Authority, that will see Africa sell itself as a whole and with each other, this is something as KEPSA together with KenIvest will spearhead in the coming future,” she said.
UNCTAD14 is in its fourth day with more than 10,000 delegates holding weeklong deliberations on key economic issues, including the fall in commodity prices, globalisation, economic partnerships and sustainable development.
UNCTAD is held every four years, with the last two having been held in Ghana and Qatar in 2008 and 2012 respectively.