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Kenyan industrialists seeking partnerships to grow steel sector

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan industrialists on Friday called on stakeholders to form partnership to boost the steel sector’s competitiveness and develop frameworks of collaboration to better shape the future of the industry.

The industrialists under the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) who hosted the first ever international steel forum in Nairobi also urged the stakeholders to address challenges affecting the sector.

Sachen Gudka, KAM chairman, noted that the local steel sector has grown over the years, adding that the establishment of stronger partnerships with global investors, would be vital to attain the desired growth in the sector and the economy.

"The future of the sector looks at the development of Smart Infrastructure.

"Through data and employment of sustainable strategies the sector will spur the productivity of the country and the continent for the next generation," Gupka told the forum.

The forum, which brought together some 50 stakeholders in the steel sector from across the globe, focused on providing partnership opportunities to boost the sector’s competitiveness.

"We are at the juncture where our trade deficit continues to widen as a country, and the numbers in steel are a clear demonstration of that."

"If we can forge stronger partnerships, with our global stakeholders finding opportunities to continually invest in Kenya, surely we can turn this around in a short amount of time," said Gudka.

He noted that the realization of the targets set out under the government’s development plan dubbed the Big 4 Agenda of food security, manufacturing, affordable housing and universal healthcare will require a significant input from the iron and steel sector, as it presents opportunities for growth.

Bobby Johnson, KAM steel sector chairman, said though the sector continues to grow, its full potential still remains unexploited, due to a variety of challenges including, high energy cost, import development fees and railway development levy and illicit trade



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