Kenya courts Chinese investors for economic boost

Industrialization CS Adan Mohamed
Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed. PHOTO/FILE
Kenya is wooing investment from China, Africa’s largest emerging market partner, as it looks to boost its economic growth.

The East Africa’s biggest economy is urging Chinese investors to explore mega investment opportunities in key sectors such as energy, construction, leather, mining, textiles, agro processing and Information Technology.

To woo China, Kenya has offered tax incentives and other sweeteners, including tax holidays for export-based industries.

Industrialization secretary Adan Mohamed on Friday said that Kenya has created a favourable and enabling environment to attract mega investments.

“Kenya is expanding its power supply from 2,500 to 10,000 megawatts and production of the remaining 7,500MW of clean energy is another investment option (Chinese) could consider,” Mr Mohamed told a delegation of Chinese investors from Keda Clean Energy Company, who were in the country to scout for opportunities to invest between Sh20 billion and Sh200 billion.

Mr Mohamed encouraged the investors to consider setting up infrastructure in one of the special economic zones along the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway.

Labour costs in Kenya, the secretary said, are relatively cheaper than those of Asia, adding that Kenya’s preferential access to global markets had created a cost advantage to buyers in pursuit of a diversified sourcing base.

Kenya, which is seeking duty free access for its products in the Chinese market, is keen to invest in leather and textile sectors which are major growth drivers in industrial exports.