KEPSA and TradeMark East Africa ink $1.5 million deal to expand trade and investment for Kenyan businesses
Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) have signed a US$ 1,500,000 financing agreement.
This is TMEA’s initial funding to support KEPSA’s 5-year Public-Private Sector Dialogue (PPD) programme; which seeks to improve conditions for expanded trade and investment for Kenyan businesses, create jobs and grow the economy. The US$1,500,000 will support the PPD programme for the first 2 years.
The PPD Program has six focus areas, which include transport and logistics PPD (Road, Rail and Air); Trade Facilitation PPD; Customs & Tax PPD; Standards and SPS PPD; Trade Logistics Cluster PPD; and, Technical Support for efficient Public-Private Sector Dialogue (PPD) frameworks.
Speaking on behalf of KEPSA, Ms. Brenda Mbathi the Chair of KEPSA’s Public-Private Dialogue, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Board Committee, said:
“KEPSA and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) partnership has strengthened over the years and we are delighted that TMEA has committed to support our PPD work. We will yield a two-fold benefit from this grant as a result of the new approach which involves working together with the local sector-based business associations, business associations representing foreign companies in Kenya and the civil society advocates of regional integration. One, fostering policy interventions geared towards catalyzing growth of trade and investment for Kenya businesses, and, two, strengthening the private sector with more capacity for better coordination of strategic public policy dialogue. KEPSA will leverage on its membership, particularly the Business Associations, to implement this grant’s objectives.”
On his part, TMEA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Frank Matsaert said; “Building platforms where the private sector is able to voice issues that are real and pertinent to the business environment remains critical in the larger sphere of our work. Such input enables development partners and governments to devise solutions that respond to real needs. We are glad to partner with KEPSA to make sure that dialogue takes place.”
TMEA-Kenya Country Director, Mr. Ahmed Farah said, “The evidence is clear. The private sector is the engine of economic growth. Successful businesses drive growth, create jobs and pay the taxes that finance public services and investment. The PPD for trade and investment programme will give a voice to the Private sector, which is the engine of our economy and goes hand in hand with our interest to catalyse a 25% annual increase in exports, creating direct and indirect jobs through improved investment incentives.”
KEPSA’s PPD Program aims to contribute to achieving 10% reduction in transport cost and time (road, rail and air); lobby for enhanced customs, port and other trade-related agencies efficiency to reduce service time to 48hrs through inter-agency collaboration, digitizing and integrated trade management systems. 8% overall reduction in tariffs, taxes and levies (including sub-national) and increased tax incentives; Enhanced efficiency of the Bureau of Standards, reduce related costs by 10%, sustain the war on illicit goods (counterfeit and substandard goods by 30% and improve private sector compliance).