President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta

“We estimate that exports will reach 600 million dollars, up from 520 million dollars in 2015,” Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Fanuel Kidenda told Xinhua, adding that the increase is largely due to increased investments by existing firms.

President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta

He said an additional 50 million dollars worth of goods will be sold in East African Community states, noting that the global economic slowdown has made Kenya revise its sales estimates downwards from an initial one billion dollars.

Companies operating in the export zones are required to export at least 80 percent of their production to countries outside the East African Community.

Kidenda said sales from the EPZA has been increasing by 20 percent yearly on average.

The zones are preferred by investors because they offer incentive such as a ten-year tax holiday.

Kidenda said approximately 60 percent of sales from the EPZA consist of textile and apparel, which are destined to the U.S. market under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade agreement.

Other key goods from the zones include agro-processed products, which are mainly sold to other African nations while pharmaceuticals are exported to Asian and Latin American countries.

According to the CEO, the biggest challenge facing the zones is the restriction on local sales.

“Most new investors want to be allowed to sale more of their produce locally in the first three years as they build capacity for selling into developed nations,” he said. Endit

Source; Xinhua

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