State, Manufacturers strike a deal on growing jobs and exports- PR

Posted on September 9, 2013

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Government and Manufacturers agree on 10 point agenda to grow  jobs and exports.

September 9, 2013, NAIROBI: Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development and Kenyan manufacturers have agreed on a 10-point agenda that will substantially boost jobs and industrial growth in Kenya.

The 10 point agenda was discussed at a meeting between the Cabinet Secretary Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Mr Adan Mohamed, and KAM in Nairobi. Top of the agenda will include a Buy Kenyan- Build Kenya campaign, increasing the Kenyan share of intra-Africa trade, human capital development, productivity based pay, reducing cost of business, enhancing market access to East African Community, Comesa, and Europe; a mentoring program to promote and support the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) manufacturing segment. To drive this agenda the Ministry will continuously engage with the manufacturing sector in monthly meetings that will advance the Kenyan business agenda to be globally competitive. The Ministry will introduce a new metrics to measure success that will use manufacturing output as a key measure of GDP. growth.

“The manufacturing sector currently employs over one million and supports more than three million Kenyans in downstream activities. The manufacturing sector offers great potential to create formal and informal jobs thereby reducing unemployment” said Mr. Adan Mohamed. By doubling Kenya’s share of Africa’s trade, Kenya could double its employment overnight and significantly contribute to meeting the Jubilee Government’s goal to create 1 million jobs in 3 years”, said Mr. Polycarp Igathe, Chairman Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

The Ministry announced that Government is working on modalities to offer incentives to companies for promoting SMEs to shore up growth of infant industries.

“In an effort to create jobs and increase contribution to the gross domestic product by the industry, Government is working on incentives for companies that promote the participation of small to medium enterprises which will be modelled around the Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa,” Mr Mohamed said.

Industrialists reaffirmed their commitment to increase jobs in the country. “The cost of doing business in the country has frustrated growth of industries in the country however manufacturers remain optimistic that in working together with Government there can be mutually beneficial arrangements that can be made to promote an enabling business environment,” said Mr. Igathe.

In a bid to cushion manufacturers from the high cost of doing business, industry has called on government to expedite payment of Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds to boost liquidity of industries.“When VAT was introduced there was an agreement to have a green, orange and red channel for refunds. The green channel was to serve large taxpayers like manufacturers to ensure expedited refunds,” Mr. Igathe said.

Mr Mohamed implored upon the manufacturers to exploit the trade and investment opportunities that exist on the African market in an endeavour to consolidate Kenya’s market share on the continent. “Trade within the African continent is 15% as compared to other continents like Europe where intra- continent trade is 70%: There is need for our countries to trade more with each other, and our manufacturing sector will be the nucleus of making this work,” Mr Mohamed said.

Speaking at a meeting held with Kenya Association of Manufacturers today, Mr Mohamed said the manufacturing sector plays a critical role in the growth of the economy and there is need to come up with innovative ideas on how to increase the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create jobs. The manufacturing sector currently contributes 14% to the country’s GDP.

ENDS

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