Botswana traders urged to use special economic zones



The Special Economic Zones in Kenya offer competitive trade and investment opportunities for local and international investors, Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said.


KNCCI president Richard Ngatia said on Wednesday Kenya’s improved regulatory policies and tax incentives for export-based industries like Special Economic Zones in Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu make the country competitive for trade and investment.


Speaking during a meeting with Botswana’s President Eric Mokgweetsi Masisi at a city Hotel, Ngatia said the zones are a ready-to-go industrial opportunities.


“While Kenyan traders are keen to take advantage of the ready infrastructure in the mining region of Selibe Phikwe in Botswana. I urge Botswana investors to take advantage of special economic zones in Mombasa and Lamu,” Ngatia said.


In Mombasa, the Kenya Ports Authority has already started the process of developing the 3,000 hectares Mombasa Special Economic Zone in Dongo Kundu, Likoni. The land is owned by KPA.


In a previous interview, the KPA management said a berth and other supporting infrastructure will be constructed on the proposed land.


KPA, with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, will set up the zone that is poised to open up Mombasa to multi-national industries, and employ thousands of Kenyans.


After the setting up of the economic zone, Kenya must start developing its own export market.


Currently, Kenya’s export market stands at 15 per cent, therefore the special economic zone shall encourage private sectors to come in and set up export companies.


Ngatia roots for establishment of a Joint Business Council between Kenya and Botswana to advance the bilateral cooperation on trade and investment.


He said the council will encourage both Kenya and Botswana to exploit investment opportunities. Ngatia also called for joint participation in trade-oriented activities and deliberately promote ICT, e-commerce and exchanges in the livestock industry for the two countries to trade in volumes.


Kenya and Botswana have signed a three-pact deal covering bilateral trade, air transport and ICT.


Kenya scored a series of victories in the latest World Bank ease of doing business report following concerted efforts by the local business community and state agencies.


In the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report for the year 2018, Kenya moved up 19 places to position 61 out of 190 economies.


Source: The Star