H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted a Business Dialogue meeting with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the Delegation of the European Union in Kenya and the European Business Council (EBC) on Friday, 17th May 2019 at State House Nairobi. On the side-lines of this meeting, President Kenyatta also met with Ambassadors from the European Union countries to discuss trade related matters.
The Business Dialogue meeting between KEPSA and EBC was conducted in two sessions. The first session was a brainstorming session chaired by Hon. Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives. The second session was chaired by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and attended by the European Union Ambassadors where by key investments in the country by both KEPSA and EBC members were announced.
Besides fostering the relationship between the Private sector in Kenya and their Counterparts from the European Union operating in Kenya, the meeting aimed at seeking investment commitments from the private sector in Big Four agenda and the Blue Economy sector, forging a formal dialogue engagement between the KEPSA and EBC and the Government of Kenya.
KEPSA CEO, Ms. Carole Kariuki, made a presentation on the opportunities in Big Four and Blue Economy. She emphasised on the need for the private sector to identify specific opportunities and make commitments in order to spur economic transformation for job and wealth creation.
KEPSA Chair, Mr. Nik Nesbitt, in his presentation took note of the need to sustain talks and vigour on continuous improvement of the business environment to ensure a level playing field for all the players in the economy.
Hon. Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives highlighted the following efforts in growing investments and creating jobs: Stepping up bilateral efforts to address NTB’s, and the Cabinet approval of the National Investment Policy that awaits gazettement and implementation. The Policy will create a framework for investment in Kenya and will be enjoined with amendments of the law on definition of the local content to include all companies that operate in Kenya regardless of the share of local ownership. He proposed for a quarterly dialogue for the KEPSA – EU Business Council meeting with the government with an initial working meeting in two weeks.
H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the meeting after having a closed-door meeting with the Ambassadors from EU in Kenya. His meeting with the Ambassadors focused on the areas Kenya can improve to facilitate business in Kenya. Speaking at the meeting, the President assured the private sector of his government’s commitment on improving ease of doing business and reducing the cost of doing business in Kenya. He re-assured the private sector of his continued efforts and focus on scaling-up regional programmes and open up markets for Kenya products.
In addition, the President took note of the fact that all businesses in Kenya need to have a level playing field regardless of whether local or international. He added that a conducive business environment should lead to commitment and in turn transformation the agenda of the country.
While concluding his remarks, the President observed that his government will continue promoting good business practices and will not relent the fight on corruption. The business environment should be transparent and fair.
H.E Kenyatta recommended the EU Business Council to join KEPSA so that they can be part of the quarterly Presidential Round Table meetings which he holds with private sector under the leadership of KEPSA. He applauded the investment commitment made by the private sector and hoped for more investment in Kenya.