Top Japanese firms eyeing Kenya investments

Road construction
Japan is already a key player the local road construction sector. PHOTO/FILE
A total of 11 top Japanese companies have indicated their intentions to invest in Kenya, in what could further spur the country’s economic growth.

The companies, which command a total capitalization of Sh60 trillion, are seeking to invest in energy, health care, infrastructure and innovative technology.

They include Toray Industries, Kubota Corporation, Ihi Corporation, JFE Engineering Corporation and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Nippon Signal Co. Ltd, Mistubishi Hitach Power Systems, LIXIL Group Corporation, Toyo Construction Company, Fukuyama Transporting Company and Japan Tobacco Company.

“Chief executives of the 11 companies expressed their interest to invest in energy, infrastructure, health and innovative technology among other projects when they met President Uhuru Kenyatta one-on-one at State House, Nairobi,” the PSCU said in a statement on Monday.

The companies were among the 75 leading Japanese firms that participated in the just concluded sixth Tokyo International Conference on Development (TICAD VI).

The last day of TICAD VI saw the signing of 73 Memorandums of Understanding between 22 Japanese companies and different African countries to boost trade between the continent and Japan.

The deals, which are to be implemented over the next three years came as a result of the Asian economic giant’s pledge to support both public and private infrastructure, education and healthcare development projects in Africa to the tune of Sh3 trillion.

The package included a grant of Sh1 trillion for infrastructure projects which will be implemented in conjunction with the African Development Bank (AfDB).

An agreement between Kenya and Japan was signed for the promotion and protection of investment mainly focusing on equitable treatment, conditions for expropriation, compensation and procedures for dispute settlement.

“We have agreed to promote trade and investment by signing the investment agreement. It is an important milestone which will further accelerate consultations aiming at concluding tax treaties,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a press briefing in Nairobi.

The move will go a long way in boosting investor confidence therefore spurring Japanese investments in the country.

Japan is already a key player in the local scene, especially in the road construction sector.

Some of the ongoing projects by Japanese companies in the country include expansion of Ngong road by World Kaihatsu Kogyo Ltd, building of a connection bridge in front of the Nairobi train station by JFE Engineering Corporation and construction of a Sh400 billion pipeline from Uganda to Lamu by Toyota Tsusho.

Others are the construction of a Sh103 billion fertiliser plant in Eldoret by Toyota Tsusho, improvement of water supply system in Embu by Konoike Construction Company Ltd and a green toilet system project in Naivasha by LIXIL Corporation.