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Kenya inks into law International Financial Centre Bill    

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday signed the Nairobi International Financial Centre Bill into law, a move that aims to make a regional financial hub.

The Nairobi International Financial Centre Act seeks to provide for legal framework to facilitate and support the development of an efficient and globally competitive financial services sector in Kenya.

“This will in turn help the financial sector to generate high levels of national savings and investments through the establishment of the Nairobi Financial Centre,” Kenyatta said in a statement issued after signing the bill.

The Act also establishes the Nairobi Financial Centre Authority whose task would be to establish and maintain an efficient operating framework in order to attract and retain firms.

Kenyatta said the Authority would also develop and recommend strategies and incentive structures in collaboration with relevant agencies in order to attract firms to be Nairobi International Financial Center firms.

“It would also review and recommend in collaboration with the relevant regulatory authorities developments to the legal and regulatory framework in order to develop Kenya as an international competitive financial centre,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kenyatta also signed into law the Kenya Trade Remedies Act, which seeks to provide for the establishment of the Kenya Trade Remedies Agency for the investigation and imposition of ant-dumping, countervailing and trade safeguard measures.

The Act also seeks to enable the government to take necessary measures to protect domestic industries from foreign competition and unfair trade practices arising from dumping, subsidizing and import surges.

The Act further seeks to establish an independent investigation body, the Kenya Trade Remedies Agency to investigate and determine the existence of dumping and subsidization in imported products and recommend appropriate measures to be taken by the government



Kenya pushes for stiffer penalties on IP rights infringement

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) is planning a consumer education and installation of punitive penalties on infringement of intellectual property (IP) laws as it destroys fake goods worth about 240,000 U.S. dollars on Friday.

The state agency tasked to fight trade in counterfeits announced it will soon begin interrogations on how best to address the changing face of counterfeiting in the market.

ACA Executive Director Elema Halake said the agency’s biggest concern when it comes to fighting this form of illicit trade should go beyond the protection of industries and manufacturers - to the protection of human life and safety.

“This is a worrisome trend that we vow to eliminate in this country as we address both locally made counterfeits and the imports,” Halake told journalists.

He spoke at Export Processing Zone in Athi River where an array of fake goods ranging from ball bearings used in all moving parts, electronics, electrical goods, clothing, cosmetics/detergents, petroleum products, and vehicle spare parts were destroyed.

A number of food products, stationery, and alcoholic beverages found to pose danger to the society were also destroyed.

Such goods may result into unwanted fires, accidents, machine breakages to deaths, as well as environmental degradation.

“We will spearhead the review of Intellectual property laws and regulations to make them more deterrent to tame dynamics of counterfeiting in the market,” Halake said.

Themed training and awareness programs targeting selected stakeholders such as learning institutions, enforcement agencies, IPR Owners and business organizations, and professionals in different fields will be conducted to influence change of mindset for the country towards shunning counterfeits.

“This will also enhance collaborative efforts towards enforcement, public awareness and research-related activities. We want consumers to know counterfeit goods are dangerous and are of no value to them, society, as well the government,” said Halake.

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Cabinet Secretary, Adan Mohamed said government is committed to adding more enforcement officers to help track and crack down on counterfeiters as part of a bigger initiative to counter the illicit trade.

Government’s concerns are on electronics, electricals, and consumable products, security items such as locks, and engine oil and motor spare parts.

“All these pose a health and safety hazard for our people. It is therefore inevitable that for the sake of health and safety ‘we must work together’, let us all take our responsibility towards winning this war,” said Mohamed.



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