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Kenya confirms deal with Singapore to eliminate double Taxation

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Tuesday signed an agreement with Singapore to phase out double taxation and attract investments from the Southeast Asian country in key sectors like agro-processing and financial services.

Henry Rotich, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning, said the elimination of double taxation will promote trade between the two countries alongside sharing of expertise required to hasten economic growth.

"The main objective of eliminating double taxation is to create a conducive environment for investments and trade in goods and services between Kenya and Singapore," said Rotich.

"Other benefits include facilitation in tax administration through sharing of information by tax authorities of the two countries, hence checking tax evasion," he added.

Rotich said that Kenya is keen to tap into Singapore’s expertise in policy and regulatory reforms as well as human resources development that catapulted it to middle income status within a short period.

Currently, the balance of trade between Kenya and Singapore is in favor of the latter and represents a deficit of an estimated 51 million U.S. dollars.

According to Rotich, Kenya’s exports to Singapore that includes tea, fruits, nuts and vegetables stood at 30 million dollars while imports from the country that included synthetic fibers and polymers stood at 50 million dollars in 2017.

He said the signing of an agreement on promotion of investments between Kenya and Singapore will help address the yawning trade deficit.

"The agreement is also designed to encourage investor confidence by setting high standards of investor protection applicable in international law," said Rotich.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, said the removal of double taxation will encourage investors from his country to venture into Kenya’s rapidly growing manufacturing, logistics and ICT sectors.

"We intend to deepen our cooperation with Kenya given that it is East Africa’s largest business and logistics hub.

"The elimination of double taxation will encourage our business entities to look for opportunities in Kenya," Shanmugaratnam said.

He revealed that Singapore private investors will be holding regular forums with their Kenyan counterparts to explore investment opportunities in key areas like shipping, logistics, water solutions, construction and tourism.


Singaporean firms eye Kenya’s financial technology sector

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Singaporean firms on Wednesday expressed interest in investing in Kenya’s financial technology sector.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, visiting Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, told a media briefing in Nairobi that Kenya has one of the most developed financial services sectors in Africa.

"Singaporean firms are seeking to partner with Kenyan firms in order to further entrench use of technologies in the financial sector," Shanmugaratnam said when Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore government agency promoting the growth of Singapore’s overseas investments and trade, announced the opening of its Nairobi Overseas Center.

The Nairobi Overseas Center will be Enterprise Singapore’s third office in Africa, which will serve as its regional hub for East Africa.

The office is expected to facilitate Singapore companies’ investments in Kenya and East Africa, and promote partnerships between Singapore and East African companies.

The Singapore government delegation was accompanied by 20 Singapore companies who are visiting Kenya and Rwanda from June 12 to 14.

During the event, six Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed between Singapore and Kenyan companies across corporate governance, e-payment and trade facilitation.

Shanmugaratnam said that Singaporean entrepreneurs are also keen to invest in the transport, logistics, as well as agribusiness sectors.

He noted that Kenya is an ideal investment destination because it is the regional hub for Eastern Africa.

He added that East Africa has plenty of opportunities due to its large population, skilled human capital as well as growing middle class.

Yew Sung Pei, Assistant CEO of Enterprise Singapore, said that East Africa houses some of the fastest-growing economies in the continent.

Pei said that Enterprise Singapore sees great potential for Singapore companies to offer their knowledge and expertise across areas such as infrastructure development and manufacturing, which are key priorities in this region.

He noted that Kenya, with its stable growth and business-friendly environment, is the gateway to East Africa and so the Nairobi office is expected to broaden the network of East African partners and strengthen the Singapore brand in the region.

Currently, there are over 60 Singapore companies operating in Africa, across more than 50 countries, with 19 billion U.S. dollars invested in the continent.

In addition, the Nairobi Overseas Center will allow Kenyan and African companies, including Small and Medium Sized Companies, to leverage Singapore as a gateway to capture growth opportunities in Asia.



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