The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has requested the government to consider re-opening the alcohol industry for the revitalization of export markets, accessing finance for trade, supporting human capital and job creation.

“The chamber recognizes the major impact Covid-19 is having on the alcoholic beverage industry due to mandated business closures and other protective measures. We call upon the government to consider re-opening the sector gradually to help them operate in compliance with public health guidelines so that they can safely serve Kenyans during this pandemic,” read the statement from the chamber.The chamber has taken a step in reassuring the government that it will take part in the responsibility to ensure that all measures are adhered to.

“We commit to providing support to the business owners to follow health protocols to operate in a safe manner during this difficult time. This is an important sector that supports livelihoods and creates many jobs,” read the statement.

The Chamber has also partnered with MasterCard Foundation to ensure that Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) stay afloat through access to financial services to ensure business continuity, employment creation, sustainability and economic resurgence.“We are working with key development partners and agencies to support the businesses and MSMEs recovery efforts and mechanism, in this arrangement, we have a strategic partnership with Equity Bank on Sh 200 billion post-Covid 19 Financing arrangement and training,” read the statementThe chamber has also cast its eyes in the future where it aims to create a competition enabling environment for business that will encourage new players in the business area and boost investments.“Moving forward, as the business community together with other parties, we will address the technological disruption, changing macroeconomic fundamentals to create a business competitiveness strategy is more relevant than ever to build a more competitive business climate in the country,” read the statement.

“We will pursue our advocacy to support free and open trade in order to stimulate a shared economic recovery process. In this regard, we are in solidarity with the government in the pursuit of these new trade agreements with the US and UK to provide commercial opportunities for Kenyan exporters and investors,” reads the statement by the Chamber.