Kenya Association of Manufacturers hosts trade and investment mission in DR Congo
Manufacturers from Kenya have called for export-led manufacturing growth to increase the sector’s contribution to the GDP from the current 7.8% to 20% by 2030.
This was during the Trade and Investment Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) hosted by Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in partnership with Equity Bank, in Kinshasa to discuss trade promotion between the two countries.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Kenya’s Ambassador to DRC, Amb. George Masafu observed that DRC has continuously remained an attractive destination for foreign investment, especially for Kenyan companies.
“Over the years, Kenyan companies have established branches in DRC. The Government of Kenya continues to prioritize harmonization of trade between the two countries. With a population of over 90 million people, DRC provides a huge opportunity for investment especially, on consumer products.”
The Principal Secretary, State Department for Trade, Alfred K’ Ombudo reiterated the government’s commitment to driving economic growth, saying, “Government developed and is implementing the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). One of the key pillars in BETA strategy is to expand markets for our products abroad, and to attract more Foreign Direct Investment to boost our economic growth. BETA requires huge investment under various innovative frameworks to achieve the improved economic performance in five priority sectors – transform agro-industrial productivity and food security; universal health coverage; the digital superhighway and last-mile internet connectivity; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; and provision of affordable housing through the construction of 250,000 units annually over the next 5 years. The goal is to create an enabling environment for investors to facilitate inclusive and accelerated economic recovery to safeguard livelihoods.”
KAM Head of Consulting and Business Development, Ms Joyce Njogu observed that exports played a leading role in rapid growth, boosting the emergence of a modern manufacturing sector, providing employment and reducing poverty in global economies, as demonstrated by the experiences of industrialized nations.
“As an Association, we acknowledge that intra-regional trade and investment are essential to the prosperity of the East African Community (EAC). With its formal admission into the EAC, DRC offers various expansion opportunities for Kenyan manufacturers in sectors such as mining, agriculture, energy and telecommunications. It is therefore essential that we position and promote Kenya and locally manufactured goods to take up the new opportunities that DRC presents. This includes enhanced access to raw materials and intermediate goods and access to economic hubs that offer investment opportunities.”
The Trade and Investment Mission, running from 23rd – 26th May 2023, brings together manufacturers from various sectors, including Food & Beverage; Agro-processing; Pharmaceutical; Chemical & Allied; Timber, Wood & Furniture; Plastic & Rubber; and Energy, Electricals & Electronics; Automotive and Textile & Apparel. It seeks to identify export market and investment opportunities; strengthen distributorship networks and gauge the intensity of the competition in the DRC for Kenyan manufacturers.