Trade Opportunities in Kenya

Kenya is world largest producer and leading exporter of black tea. The country is also ranked amongst the largest coffee producer in the World. Kenya is also lead exporter of Cut flowers to the European Union with the market share of about 35%. Fresh fruits and vegetables feature on the growing list of Exports.

Kenya’s top ten export markets are Pakistan, Uganda, Tanzania, Netherlands, USA, United Kingdom,Democratic Republic of Congo, United Arab Emirates, South Sudan and Egypt. Kenya’s main exports are Horticulture, tea, petroleum product, textile and apparel, coffee, tobacco products, iron, steel products, Pharmaceutical products, Essential oil, articles of plastic, among others.

Why Invest in Kenya

  • Tax Treaties

    Kenya has a number of tax treaties and incentives that are conducive for investors:

  • Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements

    Exports from Kenya enjoy preferential access to world markets under a number of special access and duty reduction programmes. Kenya is signatory to various agreements aimed at enhancing trade amongst member states. These incentives fall under the following programmes:

  • Multilateral Trade System (MTS):

    Kenya is a member of the World Trade Orgainisation (WTO).The WTO is the global trade rules making body which aims to promote rule based trading system amongst its membership. If you invest in Kenya you are assured of operating in a rules based and transparent business environment.

  • ACP/Cotonou Partnership Agreement:

    Exports from Kenya entering the European Union are entitled to duty reductions and freedom from all quota restrictions. Trade preferences include duty-free entry of all industrial products as well as a wide range of agricultural products including beef, fish, dairy products, cereals, fresh and processed fruits and Vegetables. Investing in Kenya assures you of these benefits.

    African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA): Kenya qualifies for duty free access to the United States of America (USA) market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act enacted by USA. Kenya’s major products that qualify for export under AGOA include textiles, apparels, handicrafts and many other products. Investors in Kenya are entitle to these incentives of accessing the USA market on a duty and quota free basis.

  • Generalised System of Preferences (GSP):

    Under the Generalised System of Preferences, a wide range of Kenya’s manufactured products are entitled to preferential duty treatment in the United States of America, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria, and other European countries. In addition, no quantitative restrictions are applicable to Kenyan exports on any of the 3,000-plus items currently eligible for GSP treatment

  • Investment Protection Guarantee:

    The constitution of Kenya guarantees protection of life and private property. The Foreign Investment Protection Act guarantees against expropriation of private property by government. Kenya is a signatory to and Member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) an affiliate of the World Bank which guarantee investors against loss of Investment to political problems in host countries Kenya is also signatory to International centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes which is a channel for settling disputes between foreign investors and host governments

  • Bilateral Trade Agreements:

    Kenya has signed bilateral trade agreements with several countries around the world. Some of the countries are already members of existing schemes offering market access/duty reduction preferences as above

Procedures for Establishing a Business in Kenya:

Registration of a company in Kenya is done at the Registrar of companies. This could be:-

• A branch office of an overseas company, or
• A locally incorporated company Registration could also be done under the Business Names Act.

Approval and Licensing Procedures of New Investments:

The Kenya Investment Authority (KIA) will process and grant approvals of new investment, once proposals are submitted on a prescribed application form. Proof of company registration must be attached to the application. Where the investment may have adverse impact on security, health or environment, clearance from the competent authorities (such as, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Public Health authorities, etc) will be required before approval is granted.

Also, clearance is required from parent ministries for investments in restricted areas before IPC approval is granted. These investments comprise: –

  • Investments to produce excisable goods (clearance from Customs and Excise is a pre-condition.
  • Investments in forest products and mining (clearance from Ministry of Environment and Natural resources).
  • Investments in energy and petroleum products (clearance from Ministry of Energy)
  • Investments in the manufacture Under Bond Programme (MUB) (authority to manufacture under bond must be obtained from Minister for finance).
  • Investments in the tourism industry (clearance from the Ministry of Tourism).

Restrictions on Doing Business in Kenya:

• Equity restrictions are only in telecommunications sector (a minimum of 30% must be local).
• Investments in the insurance industry must have local participation.
• Ownership of agricultural land by foreigners is restricted.
• Engagement in petty business by foreigners is also restricted.