• The chamber has signed over 20 Memorandum of Understanding with foreign diplomats on trade cooperation.
• SMEs account for about 80 per cent of all enterprises in the country and employ two-thirds of the population.
The Kenyan private sector attracted investments from foreign countries worth Sh300 billion this past year, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce has said.
Last year, the sector netted investments worth $1.6 billion (Sh160 billion). This year's performance more than doubled that of 2017, where the sector attracted $1.2 billion Sh120 billion.
The chamber's president Richard Ngatia said prior to assuming the leadership in June this year, the chamber had 145 MoUs with less than 20 per cent implementation.
“We have managed to sign many MoUs for the past six months with an implementation plan in place to ensure maximum benefit to our members,” Ngatia said.
So far, the chamber has signed over 20 MoUs with foreign diplomats on areas of trade cooperation as well as pacts with global business lobbies with an implementation plan in place.
To gain entry into the international market, the chamber has raised the chamber direct membership and laid policy framework for local and foreign investors to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country.
“The chamber has projected focus to gain access entry into the international markets through international trade cooperation with business lobby groups and foreign embassies,” added Ngatia.
Despite some achievement in global trade cooperation, Ngatia said the chamber aspires to achieve more next year.
“For example, we graciously accepted to take up office space in Sharjah. We shall support Small and Medium Enterprises and startups to trade in Sharjah. Through this office, we will be able to give you information and on a real-time basis about opportunities and products in Sharjah, “ he said.
Ngatia added they will also create jobs, export labour, hasten the visa application process to a day and provide Certificates of Origin, Certificate of Conformity among others.
“We intend to replicate the same in Washington in the USA, United Kingdom and in Guangzhou-China,” he said.
In September this year, Ngatia was also elected as the inaugural substantive chairperson of the Great Lakes Region Private Sector Forum during the regional GLR 2019 General Assembly involving all the twelve member states in Nairobi.
Ngatia prioritized job creation for the youths and women as his key agenda for 2020 in order to boost the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises in the country and other startups.
Currently, SMEs account for about 80 per cent of all enterprises in the country and employ two-thirds of the population.
Further, the chamber has signed an MoU with the Kenya Bankers Association on behalf of the financial institutions to strengthen the capacities of SMEs at their initial stages of development.
Under the arrangement, traders, majorly the SMEs are able to access credit without collateral through the ‘Know Your Customer’ framework.
To support local enterprises, Ngatia says the chamber will take it upon itself to ensure 30 per cent of government tenders are awarded to special groups.
This will support the implementation of government policy in order to create more jobs and startups for youth and women.