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UK traders urged to invest in 'Big Four' agenda

Friday August 31 2018
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Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo addresses a Comesa meeting at Hilton Hotel in Nairobi on August 13, 2018. He has urged British investors to explore opportunities in the country. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By EDWIN OKOTH

Senior trade officials on Thursday called on British investors to invest in Kenya’s 'Big Four Agenda', which the government intends to focus on in the next four years.

Led by Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo, the officials who were meeting a host of investors from Britain led by UK Trade Minister George Hollingbery, said Kenya and Britain have a huge commercial engagement opportunity in the current economic agenda focusing on manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security.

Mr Kiptoo said the volumes of export to the UK had been reducing gradually due to competition from Ethiopia and Rwanda, but urged British investors to take advantage of the deepening economic cooperation with Kenya in the post-Brexit era to boost trade and investment.

“Our export to Britain, which is highly dominated by beverages and cut flowers, has dropped from 16 to seven percent, but I hope with the ongoing negotiations, we will make very good mutually beneficial trade relationship and boost these numbers,” Mr Kiptoo said.

POST-BREXIT

His Industrialisation counterpart Betty Maina emphasised Kenya’s readiness for investment through the economic plans such as Vision 2030 and the establishment of industrial parks as well as Special Economic Zones.

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The meeting held at Strathmore Business School brought together tens of investors from Britain spanning energy, financial technology, energy and infrastructure.

The British trade minister said the investors would be keen to align their interest to the Big Four Agenda promising that Kenya-UK trade relations will keep growing even after the March 2019 Brexit.

Tullow Oil, Diageo Group - which owns Kenya Breweries Limited - and Unilever Kenya are among the key British investment firms in the country.

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