The Kenya Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council on 27th July opened the Hong Kong lifestyle expo bringing together over 100 businesses and investors from various sectors from both Kenya and Hong Kong.
The investors who predominantly came from the electronic, leather, lighting, houseware, fashion and accessories segment of the market from both countries hoped to forge partnerships that would enable imports and exports from both countries thus increasing the volume of trade that currently stands at approximately 13 billion shillings.
Speaking at the event Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry National Chairman Kiprono Kittony challenged investors from Hong Kong to particularly venture into areas covered by the Big Four as there exist both political goodwill and it is easy to enter into public and private partnerships.
“Kenya has set aside four sectors that we believe will be a catalyst to robust economic and social growth and we would urge investors from Hong Kong to be part of our vision. The country has allocated huge resources into this agenda and thus investors should feel confident that there is government participation as a guarantee,” KNCCI National Chairman Kiprono Kittony said.
He further urged the investors to be aware of the government plans to scrap permit fees for Hong Kong investors for a period of two years if they put their money in the telecommunication or textile industries with other opportunities for investment also existing in ceramics and wall panels as well as financial services market as to where the East Asia Chinese territory is a global leader.
“Kenya is ripe for investment in ICT, real estate and financial sector and Hong Kong hosting multiple companies in these sectors should leapfrog competition coming from the EU and other countries such as India, Turkey, South Africa and the USA. Already a number of companies are reaping from,” Kiprono told the exhibitors.
The trade balance between Kenya and Hong Kong is in favor of Hong Kong with Kenya’s total exports standing at US $ 62.009 million in 2017 up from US$ 13.5 million in 2016 while Kenya’s imports from Hong Kong increased from US$ 62.4 million in 2016 to US $ 66.97 million in 2017.
Kenya’s top exports to Hong Kong include: raw hides and skins, leather, edible fruits and nuts, vegetables, fish, and tobacco while top imports include electrical equipment and machinery, mechanical appliances, fabric and clothing, paper and paperboard as well as furniture.
To Hong Kong companies Kenya offers fertile ground to invest in: manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, ICT and Energy.
Hong Kong offers a unique combination of advantages for traders, investors, intermediaries and project owners worldwide to take advantage of C opportunities. These advantages include: Proximity to the Chinese mainland, vast international experience and a skilled global workforce, Connectivity to Asia and beyond, Quality and diversity of services, Synergy being Asia’s second largest private equity centre and Efficiency and flexibility as Hong Kong is ranked the world’s freest economy and the fifth-easiest place in the world to do business.
“The Hong Kong Trade Development Council has set up an office in Nairobi that will facilitate the ease in doing business for Kenya business who wish to form business linkages with their counterparts in Hong Kong,” said Elvin Law, Manager, Product Promotion HKTDC.
The Hong Kong lifestyle expo followed a seminar themed “Hong Kong – Your Gateway to Global Markets and Investment Opportunities under the Belt and Road Opportunities”in March this year attended by the business community and officials from government bodies with focus on international trade and investment.