Kenya projects that foreign direct investment will surge to over Sh200 billion this year riding on renewed investor interest and confidence in the country’s business climate.
Speaking at the Kenya-Japan investment forum in Nairobi on Wednesday, Kenya Investment Authority (KIA) managing director Moses Ikiara said the improving business environment coupled with planned, high profile investment forums continue to attract investors from across the world.
“The FDI is growing very strongly. This year, we expect FDI inflows to grow by more than 100 per cent because of an improved business environment,” said Mr Ikiara.
Last year, FDI inflows into the country stood at over Sh115 billion according to the 2015 African Economic Outlook survey unveiled by the African Development Bank (AfDB) on May 25.
During the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) held in Nairobi between July 24 and 26, a number of international companies announced multi-billion shilling deals that would see the value of FDI increase substantially this year.
The AfDB report indicated that Kenya is increasingly becoming a favoured business hub, not only for oil and gas exploration, but also for manufacturing, transport and the booming technology industry.
Mr Ikiara was giving a presentation to a Japanese business delegation that is in Nairobi to explore investment opportunities.
Japanese Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Tatsushi Terada, said priority areas of his country’s investment in Kenya include infrastructure, human resource, agriculture, health, medical services as well as environmental conservation.
The volume of trade between Kenya and Japan has, however, grown albeit slowly in the last five years. Notably, the business is heavily skewed in favour of the Far East country.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya’s imports from Japan increased to Sh86.6 billion in 2014 up from Sh58.2 billion recorded in 2010.
Kenya’s exports on the other hand have increased to Sh3.5 billion in 2013 from Sh2.1 billion in 2010.