The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) advances its economic diplomacy mandate by maintaining a mutual working relationship with foreign embassies for business exchange and trade promotion. In September 2022 KNCCI hosted Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Nairobi Committee in order actively promote trade relations between Kenya and the ASEAN countries.
Malaysia being one on the ASEAN countries, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) in collaboration with the High Commission of Kenya in Malaysia, County Government of Bomet , State Department for Investments Promotion and Industry , Kenya Investment Authority and My Events International organized a business forum that took place today Monday 13th March,2023 at Pride Inn Hotel, Westlands.
The business forum was attended by both Kenyan and Malaysian business counterparts in various sectors to facilitate the business matchmaking and networking.
The High Commissioner of Kenya to Malaysia H.E Amb Francis Muhoro in his opening remarks appreciated the mutual diplomatic relationship between Kenya and Malaysia . He stated that Kenya is a key market for Malaysia while pointing out that there is significant potential for the two countries to expand bilateral trade and investments. He explained there is immense opportunities for both countries in agro-processing value addition, manufacturing, tourism.
Representing the Council of Governors and the County Government of Bomet , Governor H.E Prof Hillary Barchok in his remarks stated that Malaysia is a gateway to Asia and the business forum would pave way for new opportunities and investments between the two countries.
The Chamber President Mr. Richard Ngatia stated that the business forum presents a unique opportunity for our governments and businesses to work together in fostering trade and investment partnerships in various sectors, including agriculture, healthcare, higher education, manufacturing, and trade.
The agriculture sector. According to the World Bank, agriculture accounts for 24% of Kenya’s GDP and employs over 75% of the population. This presents a significant opportunity for collaboration in research and development, technology transfer, and investment in the value chain.
In Kenya, the healthcare sector has seen significant growth over the years, with the government investing heavily in the provision of quality healthcare services.
Similarly, Malaysia has made substantial progress in this sector, ranking highly in the Global Medical Tourism Index. There is enormous potential for collaboration in areas such as health research, telemedicine, and medical equipment manufacturing.
Similarly, in the higher education sector, businesses can benefit from the transfer of knowledge and skills, research collaborations, and the development of industry-specific programs.
In the manufacturing sector, According to the World Bank, manufacturing accounts for 11% of Kenya’s GDP, while in Malaysia, the manufacturing sector accounts for 22% of its GDP. There is enormous potential for collaboration ranging from investment in industrial parks, technology transfer, and the establishment of joint ventures.
The Principal Secretary, State Department for Investments Promotion and Industry Mr. Abubakar Hassan in his remarks stated that the government is working towards improving on legislations to enhance the ease of doing business in Kenya and urged the Malaysian business people to invest in Kenya through joint ventures and gave them the assurance that Kenya is a safe investment hub.
Ag MD kenya Investment Authority Ms. June Chepkemei gave a presentation on the business environment and investment opportunities in Kenya. Trade relations indicate that Kenya is the leading trade partner and major export destination for Malaysian Products. According to the United Nations COMTRADE database, Kenya’s Total Exports amounted to US$ 16.77 Million while Imports amounted to US$ 855.10 Million in 2021.
Major Exports include; Titanium Ores, Tea, Processed Food, textile articles, tobacco products, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
Major Imports include; Palm Oil, Chemical and Chemical Products and ruber based products, telecommunications equipment, electronic and electrical goods, industrial machinery, and furniture.
To seal the business relations Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry(KLSICCI) . Which was signed by the Chamber President Mr. Richard Ngatia and KLSICCI President Mr. Nivas Ragavan , witnessed by KNCCI board of directors and government officials present.
The MoU stipulates that both KNCCI and KLSICCI will;
- Continuously organize business matchmaking events to connect businesses from both countries and facilitate trade and investment opportunities. (Virtual or in-person events that allow businesses to network and explore potential partnerships).
- Collaborate on investment promotion activities to attract investors to both countries. Through targeted marketing campaigns, investment seminars, and investment promotion missions to showcase the investment opportunities available in both countries.
- Establish a mechanism for the exchange of business information between the two countries. Through sharing of market research, business directories, and other relevant information that can help businesses in both countries to make informed decisions.
- Facilitate technology transfer between businesses in both countries, allowing them to share knowledge, expertise, and technologies that can improve their competitiveness and productivity.