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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya doubles foreign investment inflows to US $2.4 billion dollars

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya has doubled the inflow of foreign direct investments to 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 from 1.4 billion dollars in 2015, but remained below par with other East African competitors, such as Tanzania, which managed to attract three times more, trade officials said Monday.

Moses Ikiara, Chief Executive officer of Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), a government body tasked with attracting domestic and foreign investors, said despite the near doubling of the investment inflows, Kenya’s per capita foreign investment inflows remained at 13.8 dollars compared a regional average of 35.3 dollars.

"The target is to have at least 32 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) driven by both private and public investment by 2030 and to have the private sector investment to rise to over 24 percent of GDP by 2030," Ikiara said during the launch of public discussions on a draft national investment policy.

Kenyan officials are targeting fresh investment inflows from large foreign multinational firms seeking to set up regional headquarters to serve the regional export market in Africa.

Government officials say the government values private investment, which justifies the need to have a properly laid out national investment policy, to encourage expansion of local and foreign investment.

"The situation is not rosy for Kenya in this region even though we have seen good growth.

"We are still behind Tanzania and Mozambique in attracting foreign investment.

"We must catch up and overtake them," Ikiara told investors attending the launch of the public discussions on the draft policy.

The authorities want the investment policy to lay down rules of engagement, including the incentives that the foreign investors could be entitled to, including a review of the minimum capital investment requirement of 100,000 dollars to spur the growth of the local economy.

Ikiara said new measures to boost market entry of the foreign and domestic investors included injecting transparency and providing investment incentives tied to having the foreign investors acquiring local business partners, training the local workforce and other measures that improve the work environment.

Ikiara outlined the immediate priorities of the new investment policy as the review of the minimum capital requirements.

           

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