CS ADAN MOHAMED ASSURES MANUFACTURING SECTOR OF CONTINUED GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
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Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development (MOIED) Mr. Adan Mohamed has assured Industry of continued Governments support in spurring the growth of the manufacturing sector in Kenya.
He further stated that the Ministry is working on a proposal to make land available for the private sector and challenged industry to be available to take up these opportunities.
He made this remarks during the KAM and MOIED monthly consultative meeting held yesterday at his office.
The Cabinet Secretary indicated that the Agro-processing initiative at Galana has been initiated with a pilot project already in place and called on industry to review and take advantage of what this opportunity presents.
He further reiterated the need to synergise how the various government entities work to ensure that industry is adequately supported.
He committed to chairing a forum in the course of the year that will bring together relevant ministries aimed at addressing bottlenecks in increasing Kenya's exports to the region.
On the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Mr. Mohammed said it is a very important trade agreement that Kenya will leverage on. "Currently Kenya's exports under AGOA totals to 400 million dollars and the Government would like to expand this to 1 billion dollars within the next 2 years."
According to the Cabinet Secretary, it is expected that AGOA will also open up investment especially for cotton manufacturers by providing backward integration. It also presents investment opportunities in infrastructure projects, ports, extension of rail and in agriculture.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chief Executive Officer Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga, on behalf of manufacturers, thanked MOIED for the support towards industry. "Industry is grateful to the Government for the efforts that went into shaping the 2015 budget outcome. The Association got a good number of its proposals adopted which will spur the growth of Industry both at the national and the regional level," said Ms. Wakiaga.
She further thanked the Cabinet Secretary for his leadership and intervention in driving Kenya's business agenda. "During the last Sectoral Council SCTIFI meeting held in May 2015 we realized a number of positive gains for local industry in EAC. These included: Approval of implementation of the revised EAC rules of origin; The adoption of Resolution of some outstanding Non Tarrif Barriers (NTBs) that were being faced by local industry and adoption of the developed administrative mechanism to guide firms who intend to withdraw from duty remission amongst others," noted Ms. Wakiaga.
On transforming Kenya into a competitive manufacturing hub, Ms. Wakiaga said Industrialization is a key catalyst for diversifying the production structure of the economy and creating job opportunities for an ever growing work-force. "Industrialization addresses this by promoting economic diversification, inclusive growth, efficient utilization of abundant physical, mineral and human resources and in the process eliminates poverty and structurally transforms the economy."
She called on both the private sector and the Government to critically look into Kenya's competitiveness and put in place policies that will spur the growth of manufacturing.
The Tripartite Free Trade Area and the Continental Free Trade Area agreements launched this year provide an opportunity for Kenya to become a manufacturing hub for Africa and this needs to be harnessed.
Key interventions necessary for improving competitiveness in Kenya should focus on enhancing productivity of the various inputs and processes involved in the economic production processes especially in the manufacturing sector.
In order to achieve industry competitiveness KAM intends to work with the Ministry to deal with the key issues that affect competitiveness using a Sectoral approach and develop a Manufacturing Policy with specific interventions.