NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The Kenyan Government has said that it will begin issuing special passes to investors seeking to work in Kenya, a move it said would encourage more flows of investments.
During a press briefing and a dialogue on the Kenya business environment for Japanese investors, Esther Mwaura from the Department of Immigration said the process will take a maximum of five days, down from two weeks.
She said that the ministry will also set up a Japanese special desk to fast track work permits applications.
“After realizing that there are investors who might want to start working immediately, the department will issue special passes which will allow the investors to work immediately, it is as good as the work permit,” she said.
As part of its measures, the immigration office said that it will engage security agencies concerned with the vetting of the applicants to hasten the process for applicants.
“Immigration Department has sent an officer to Ken Invest a one-stop center who will not only offer advice on the work permit and passes application to investors but facilitate the issuance of the same,” the department said.
Japan- Kenya Business Dialogue 2019 report released in October had identified barriers affecting their operations in Kenya including Procedures related to Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) and customs clearance procedures, work permits amongst others.
“Verification of documents such as bank statements has been hastened by the use of digital platform whereby the responsible departments have shared with immigration the online criteria of confirming the authenticity of the said documents,” the department of Immigration said.
Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KeBS) on its part noted that in order to ease business, it will exempt inspection of raw materials for manufacturers registered in Kenya at the port.
“We will have a control of the final product,” Benson Bundi , an official from Kebs noted.
Ambassador of Japan to Kenya, Ryoichi Horie who was present during the forum lauded the Kenyan government for continued efforts to encourage Japanese companies to invest in Kenya through various support systems.
“This dialogue will resolve challenges in the business environment and thereby spur growth in investment and trade for Kenya and EAC,” he said.
The Managing Director of Keninvest, Moses Ikiara said that Kenya has a positive climate that has made it attractive to international firms seeking a location for regional or pan-African operations.
“Kenya is among top reformists in the continent and top ten in the world, Keninvest will continue giving world-class facilitation to Japanese and other investors in the country,” Kenvinvest Board of Directors, Dennis Waweru added.