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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya Foreign Direct Investment projected to hit US $2.5 billion

by Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is projected to hit 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 up from 1.5 billion dollars in 2015, officials said.

Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) Managing Director Moses Ikiara told Xinhua that Kenya’s attractive investment climate as well as regional hub status have continued to be a magnet for investors.

"In line with the trend of the past five years of annual double digit growth, we expect FDI for 2016 to rise to 2.5 billion dollars," Ikiara told Xinhua on Tuesday evening on the sidelines of a forum on the Mombasa (Dongo Kundu) Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Ikiara said that the manufacturing, construction, energy and Information Communication Technology (ICT) were the most attractive sectors for FDI.

Data from KenInvest indicate that the United States, India and Britain are the top FDI sources for Kenya, while Ikiara said China is now emerging as a key source of investment inflows into Kenya.

"We hope that more Chinese firms will relocate to Kenya as labor costs rise in their home country," he added.

The East African nation hopes to attract FDI with its SEZs which are primarily aimed at exports.

The design for the SEZ which also includes a free port has already been completed and the zone is expected to be ready to receive investments in early 2018.

Ikiara noted that Kenya’s trade imbalance is largely due to heavy reliance of exports of unprocessed agricultural products.

"We are therefore encouraging new entrants to begin value addition of agricultural commodities so as to improve balance of trade," he added.

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