Lobby group tests Kenya's appetite for Japanese FMCGs

Wednesday February 17 2016

Ambassador of Japan to Kenya Tatushi Terada

Ambassador of Japan to Kenya Tatushi Terada (centre), Nakumat Holdings Business Development Manager Neel Shah (right), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Executive Director Atsuhiko Naoe ( left) admires some of the line of Japanese retail products that have been launched into Nakumatt supermarkets. PHOTO | OTIATO GUGUYU 

By OTIATO GUGUYU
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A Japanese trade lobby wants to test the Kenyan market with consumer products through a one-month showcase in Nakumatt supermarkets.

The Japan External Trade Organization, (JETRO), launched the venture Wednesday at Nakumatt mega through a local consumer products distributor, Debenham & Fear Kenya Limited.

The showcase, dubbed Antenna Shop Japan 2016, is part of a strategic effort to promote retail trade partnerships between Kenya and Japan.

Speaking at the launch, JETRO Kenya Managing Director, Mr Atsuhiko Naoe, said that more than a dozen Japanese retail products manufacturers and marketers are wishing to enter the local market.

Japan will find the first moving consumer market already dominated with Chinese products which account for 20 per cent of Kenyan imports while Japan only makes up 5 per cent according to data from the Central Bank of Kenya.

“These retail products are still very new to the Kenyan market, JETRO is showcasing a variety of products at Nakumatt Mega to inspire and encourage customer trial and feedback, as part of our commitment to deepen bilateral retail trade ties between Kenya and Japan,” Nakumatt Business Development head, Neel Shah said.

China had become a darling of Africa with trade having increased dramatically from $4 billion in 1995, to $30 billion in 2004 and $222 billion in 2014.