Investors Fronted to Tap into Special Economic Zones in Kenya
Investors wishing to set up shops in Kenya should take advantage of the Special Economic Zones, as they will offer optimal revenue outputs due to preferential treatment on matters such as licensing.
Speaking during the Kenya Trade and Investment Forum, ADEC Kenya’s site director Pravin Eazhawa said by tapping into SEZs, investors will be assured of returns and the benefits to the country will be enormous.
“There are various tax benefits granted to companies operating in special economic zones, this will bring high return of investments,” added Mr Eazhawa.
The designated trading zones was put in place after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Special Economic Zones Act 2015 in September, spelling out key measures to revamp activities in the blocs.
Foreign investors will see their enterprises licensed under SEZ deduct 100 per cent of the investment cost of building and machinery. The move will see them recover the cost of investment within the first year of utilisation.
Also they are exempted from export duty for goods exported and Import Declaration Fees for goods imported.
Other host of incentives the government will provide under SEZs include exempting dividends payable to non-residents from tax, reduction of withholding tax on interest payable from 15 per cent to five per cent, reduction of corporate tax rates for a defined period, access to quality infrastructure and one-stop shops for licenses
This is expected to ensure that the foreign investors get a good return for their investment.
SEZ is part of Kenya’s Vision 2030 to diversify manufacturing activities, create employment and boost the country’s investment profile.
The Trade Mission East Africa Conference was organised by Sharjah Exports Development Centre, in partnership with Dubai Consultancy, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“Robust inter-continental trade is vital in achieving prosperity and growth in the region. To grow relations between the UAE and Kenya, we need to keep pushing for increase in trade between our regions to give life to the agreement signed between UAE and Kenya,” said Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko when he officially opened the two-day event at Villa Rosa Kempinski, Westlands.
Kenya Investment Authority Managing Director Moses Ikiara also highlighted that the rate of corruption in the country as reported by Transparency International affects the ease of doing business as Kenya was ranked 143 out of 180 in the report.
“The huge presence of counterfeit goods and services is another huge hindrance for opportunity to grow business in the country,” Dr Ikiara added.
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