The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Kountable have today convened players from the private sector under the Big 4 Dialogue focused on manufacturing. Speaking at the event chief guest Principal Secretary State Department of Investment and Industry Betty Maina told the attendees that the government has a five-point plan that will increase the contribution of manufacturing to GDP.
Among the highlights of the five-point plan includes: attracting external investors to set up plants in the country, targeting manufacturers that can produce goods for the global market, engagement of local players where external investors set up with significant technology transfer, streamlining engagement with small and medium entrepreneurs and create a favorable environment for manufacturing by dealing with sub standards and illicit goods.
According to the PS Betty Maina investors targeting the manufacturing sector need to focus on key areas the government is aligned to including: pharmaceuticals, textiles and apparels, agro-processing among others.
“In manufacturing of pharmaceuticals we have established that the Universal Health coverage pillar that we have as part of the Big 4 agenda can help provide a market for locally manufactured medicines as well as those from the COMESA region. Under textiles we want to ensure we can reduce the amounts of cotton that we are importing from countries like China to enable us send complete textiles and apparels to the USA under the AGOA agreement,” said Principal Secretary State Department of Investment and Industry Betty Maina.
The government has also promised to revitalize various cash crops including coffee, tea and cotton through value addition to tea and coffee, introduction of new varieties such as BT cotton and through incentives offered to exporters of value added products.
Speaking at the same event Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry National Chairman Kiprono Kittony said the Big 4 Dialogue will help deal with the information asymmetry and help private and public sectors combine their thoughts on how the country can industrialize.
“We would like at the end of these dialogues to put together a handbook for local investors to guide them where the opportunities reside in the Big 4,” said Kiprono Kittony, Chairman Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry National.
“Our role as Kountable is to enable small firms maximize their chances to participate in large procurement opportunities such as big corporates and government” says Kountable CEO, Chris Hale.
Following the dialogue on manufacturing the focus now proceeds to food security on 29th August after which the chamber will put together a guidebook for both local and international players.