On 11th December 2019, KEPSA CEO Ms Carole Kariuki signed a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA). The MOU seeks; to facilitate cooperation between, KEPSA, the BCCI and BPSA in promoting the economic development of Kenya and Barbados and enhancing trade linkages between Kenya and Barbados.
The BCCI and BPSA will also support KEPSA’s interest and will facilitate agreed tasks that will include public relations, information-sharing and organisation of trade meetings and events, and KEPSA will support the BCCI and BPSA in promoting capabilities and findings and in establishing new partnerships between Barbadian and Kenyan private sector companies and institutions through the identification of investment opportunities geared to increase trade volumes between Kenya and Barbados with a focus on joint ventures, match-making and creating right policies and strategies to increase trade.
The successful signing of this MOU was as a result of engagement between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Barbados Private Sector during his visit to Barbados earlier in the year. The signing took place at the end of the Kenya-Barbados Business Forum held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi on 11th December 2019. The forum, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kenya and involving KEPSA was opened by Ambassador Johnson Weru in charge of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kenya, H.E Joy Anne Skinner, P.S Foreign Affairs, Barbados, and Arch Lee Karui, Chair KEPSA Foundation.
The two countries explored the various investment opportunities available them being in the Vision 2030 and Big 4 Agenda; Manufacturing ( Apparel Sector, Leather Processing, Construction Materials, Oil and Gas, Steel Industry, and the Assembling Industry for Electronics), affordable housing aiming to build 500,000 homes by the 2022, Food Security especially in agroprocessing and post harvest management value chains and in universal healthcare in Kenya. To enable manufacturing, Kenya has set out 83 EPZs which enjoy 10 years zero cooperate tax and have exemptions in paying withholding tax. The energy sector we have projected demand is 20k megawatts and we are at 2k Mega-watts outlining the opportunity of offering off-grid solutions investment.
Some of the key enablers in Kenya are; 83% of our population has access to internet connection comparing to a 70% average in Sub-Saharan Africa which offers opportunities to invest in businesses that support the Big 4 agenda by offering internet solution, For the last 5 year, Kenya has been number 1 in financial inclusion due to innovation and mobile penetration and the freedom of the press cannot be overstated with Kenya been ranked number 1 several times offering Transparency.
Barbados also presents a wide range of investment opportunities which includes; in the services sector which contributes upto 70pc in GDP i.e. Financial Services Sector with equity and capital markets which are enabled by efficient ICT solutions, Food and beverage industry; Barbados is known for its Seasonings and sauces to enhance the flavor of meals, Supply for Intraocular lenses enhancing the affordable healthcare agenda and medical tourism, Production of high-quality labels which can be exported, Education services; Where the University of West Indies) will launch a program in Kenya soon to train doctors and persons in the medical field and production of films (Music), arts and culture. The Cultural economy attributes to 7% GDP in Barbados.
The meeting was officially closed by the Deputy President H.E Dr. William Ruto together with the Prime Minister of Barbados, H.E Mia Mottley after a summary and a call to trade and invest by the KEPSA CEO, Ms. Kariuki and KCB Group CEO, Mr. Joshua Oigara.