TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Kenya Bags Sh16b From Textile Exports to U.S.

Tuesday, 08 February 2005

Source: The East African Standard (Nairobi)

Kenya's textile exports to the US have earned the country Sh16 billion.

Trade and Industry Minister, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, further reveals that since 2000 when the Agoa programme started, 35 new garment factories have been set up.

In a speech read by Assistant minister Petkay Miriti, Kituyi told a visiting US Black Chamber of Commerce delegation that in 2004, Agoa-related investment had risen to US$17.1 million.

The touring group represents Sh800 billion worth of African-American investments.

Mrs Kay Debow, is leading the team that include representatives of 10 US-based African-American businessmen out to explore investment opportunities in Kenya.

The businessmen are from Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Louisiana, Illinois and Washington DC.

During their one week tour, they will meet Government officials and Kenya's leading business people from the coffee, tea, spice, textile (African attire), construction, water management, ports, airports and IT sectors.

Kituyi said it was now easier to set up businesses in Kenya.

"We have established an investment promotion legislation that mandates the Investment Promotion Council to handle most of the investors' problems to reduce the plethora of start up hiccups to our investors," he said.

Kituyi said the country was strategically placed within two regional trading blocks with a population of 380 million people and a combined wealth of US$200 million.

Kenya is a member of the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for East and Central Africa (Comesa).

"We are also active participants in the various regional economic blocks and this makes us an ideal base for the manufacturing and distribution of all products within the region," he said.

He said Kenya was the gateway to some of the world's leading marketing destinations in European, Asia and Pacific countries through its association with the EU by virtue of her membership to the African Caribbean and Pacific trading blocks.

The minister said the Government was working on an ICT policy that would encourage e-commerce through validating e-signatures in a process that will also reduce business transaction time.

Other products Kituyi urged the Americans to trade in include fruit juice concentrates, fresh fruits, cereals, assorted spices, tea, honey, coffee, pyrethrum, cashew nuts, fish and gemstone mining.