The Kenya Flower Council attended a Ministerial Stakeholder Forum (MSF) with the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development at the ministry’s office organized by KEPSA. The MSF was chaired by Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Mr. Adan Mohamed and KEPSA Trade and Investment sector board chair Mr. Jas Bedi.
The key issues that were discussed during the forum included:
• Progress on Doing Business Indicators (DBI) report reforms
• Road map to industrialization
• Special Economic Zones Bill & Policy
• National Industrialization Policy
• Optimization of Internal Market
• Development of industrial parks and availability of affordable land
• The investment regulatory environment
• Review of the tax regimes
CS Mohamed said his ministry is in the process of identifying land for at least five industrial zones in Naivasha and between Nairobi and Mombasa. The nature of the parks will however be determined by interest from would be investors with the local private sector charged with the responsibility of helping to identify interested investors. To further utilize existing and upcoming infrastructure, the CS urged the private sector to familiarize itself with all key infrastructure projects such as the SGR so as to help identify potential areas for investment.
CS Mohammed also proposed a meeting between his ministry and KEPSA in order to iron out thorny issues in the special economic zones (SEZ) bill.
The issue of Import Declaration Fee (IDF) was raised and the Cabinet Secretary pointed out the initial role of IDF was to ensure that sub-standard goods did not come into the country. However, it had now turned into a tax of 2.25% and this reduces Kenya’s competitiveness in EAC as this fee is lower in Tanzania at 1.2% and Rwanda at 0.8%. It was agreed that there was need to review this but with proposals on how to supplement the probable loss of revenue.
Members sought to have East Africa Business Council (EABC) institutionalized as voice of the regional private sector with a designated slot in the next East African Heads of State Summit for submissions from the private sector for endorsement.
Moving forward, CS Mohamed asked KEPSA to convene a meeting between EABC, the regional private sector and his ministry to raise key issues and chart the way forward in regard to regional trade issues affecting business. He also emphasized on the need to abide to one rule book that applies to all the five countries.