Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jul 17, 2002
Industry & Economy
Kenya keen on more Indian investments
KOLKATA, July 16
KENYA, a key member of the East African Cooperation grouping, has sought fresh investments from Indian entrepreneurs in sectors such as fertilisers and pesticides, pharmaceuticals (specifically for the manufacture of anti-malarials), dairy products, hotels and cashew.
The new `Focus Africa' initiative launched by the Government of India is seen by stakeholders on both sides as a good opportunity to boost India-Africa trade and investments in the short and medium terms.
The programme aims to focus on products such as cotton yarn, fabrics and other textile items, drugs and pharmaceuticals, machinery & instruments, transport equipment and telecom and IT.
Talking to newspersons on the sidelines of an interactive session on `Focus Africa' here today, Mr Lazarus O. Amayo, High Commissioner of Kenya, said his Government was keen that Indian companies should set up units at the 17 export processing zones (EPZs) in Kenya. The session was organised jointly by Capexil, Chemexcil and Plexconcil.
Stating that Kenya was now allowing duty-free import of capital goods, besides certain other incentives, the envoy urged Indian manufacturers of such equipment to take advantage of this facility and invest in that country either through the joint venture route or singly.
Among the successful India-Kenya joint venture projects, Mr Amayo cited the Birlas' (Orient Paper) one-lakh tonne paper plant at Webuie in eastern central Kenya, the wines and distilleries unit of Mohan Meakins and the assembling unit of the Kirloskars. A long-term contract has been signed with TCIL for setting up and manning of six regional telephone exchanges in Kenya.
He said Kenya was now in a position to import crude oil, refine it and sell it to other oil-deficient African countries. He said Kenya was also actively scouting for a joint venture partner to set up a plant in Nairobi or any other place to process the huge cashew reserves.
Playing down the perceived political and commercial risks of investing in Africa, Mr Amayo said there was an urgent need to change the perception among Indian investors that Africa was not a safe place to invest.
He described the present trade volumes between the two countries as quite low, at $245 million (with Kenyan imports from India at $125 million). The pharma sector had a lion's share of this at 27 per cent, followed by textiles and allied items at 18 per cent and iron and steel (flat rolled products) items at 10 per cent. He put Kenya's annual imports at around $ 3 billion.
The `Focus Africa' programme aims to focus at the sub-Saharan region with added emphasis on the seven major trading partners of the region, namely, Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana. Trade between India and sub-Saharan Africa has grown from $893 million in 1991-92 to $3.39 billion in 2000-01, registering an increase of over 280 per cent.
India's imports from the region have increased from $458 million in 1991-92 to $1.58 billion in 2000-01. The items include petroleum, crude and products, coal, coke and briquettes, wood and products, cotton raw and waste, cashew nuts, fertiliser, non-ferrous metals, metallifiers, metal scrap, organic chemicals and electrical goods.
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |
Copyright © 2002, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line