Monday, December 5, 2022

Ecobank roots for Kenya as choice contract Manufacturing Destination

Kenya is in a pole position to serve as the world’s latest contract manufacturer for producers who need the service out of Asia and Europe, says Ecobank, a leading financial services provider.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Council of Governors Women empowerment event today in Nairobi, Ecobank Executive Director Samuel Odhiambo said that the demand for overseas contract manufacturing by companies in Europe and North America today presents a huge opportunity for Kenya to create large industrial cities. These, he noted, should be spread across the counties as manufacturing centers for global brands.
“We are now at a moment where the Far East and South East Asia are no longer the preferred destinations for overseas contract manufacturing. Kenyan counties, with their good physical infrastructure and skilled labor force, present themselves as the best global alternative of the moment,” explained Odhiambo.
He called for the national government to immediately convene a national industrialization forum to discuss and subsequently establish the structures which will allow the country to market itself as the preferred choice for overseas contract manufacturing as part of the overarching drive to grow the local manufacturing sector.
Odhiambo pointed out that this is the right time for the county governments, through the regional economic blocks to consider and create a common Devolved Government Industrialization Fund which will be used to promote the growth of industries in the Counties.
At the same time, he challenged private sector financiers to get more creative and engage in developing Kenya’s capital and debt markets to support industrialization at the County level, tap into the wealth of Kenyans in the diaspora, expand the formal housing mortgage sector and develop improved lease financing solutions for the acquisition of healthcare technology and equipment.
Getting there requires a coordinated effort between the national and county governments. the former will ramp up brand marketing of Kenya as an overseas contract manufacturing destination and formulate suitable tax laws which support re-export industrial production while the latter is expected to streamline various by-laws to avoid duplicate taxation and eliminate encumbrances that hinder establishing industries in the counties.
The proposal is designed to build on the government’s recognition of the Agriculture, MSMEs, Digital,  Creative Economy, Healthcare, and Housing sectors as drivers of Kenya’s entrepreneurial and inclusive economic progress.

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