The Director of the CEOE's Office of the President and CEOE of International CEOE, Narciso Casado, participated today in a breakfast with Spanish businessmen based in Kenya, in the framework of the official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Josep Borrell , to the African country. After the business breakfast, the Spanish delegation held meetings with representatives of the Kenyan Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA); of the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (EACCIA); and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).
In addition to Casado, the general director of International Trade and Investment, María Paz Ramos, also spoke at the ceremony; the general director of International Economic Relations, Cristina Serrano; the general director for Africa, Raimundo Robredo; the general director of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, Inmaculada Riera; the ambassador of Spain in Kenya, Javier García de Viedma; and the Economic and Commercial Counselor, Rocío Kessler.
Economic situation of Kenya
CEO of International CEOE, Narciso Casado, assured from Nairobi that the political stability of Kenya; its continued growth in annual GDP, which during the last five years has fluctuated between 5 and 6%; the more than 50 million inhabitants; and an average age that barely reaches twenty, make it a very attractive country for Spanish companies.
In this regard, said Casado, it is worth mentioning the long-term strategy developed by the government, "Kenya Vision 2030", focused on strengthening the economy, society and governance in line with the SDGs proposed by the 2030 Agenda, through greater investment in education, energy, infrastructures and ICTs. He also stressed the project launched by the new government and planned for the next five years, "2018 Budget Policy Statement" (Big Four), whose main objectives are to promote the creation of employment and wealth through the manufacturing sector ( textile, leather, footwear, agro-industry); promote food and nutrition security through greater regulation and control; the construction of half a million homes; and better health coverage.
Narciso Casado highlighted during his visit to Nairobi that in recent years Kenya has intensified opportunities in the energy sector and in all types of infrastructures, especially through public-private partnerships (PPPs), thus opening the doors to investment. To this, it is appropriate to add, according to Casado, the large transport and infrastructure project that is being carried out between Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan (LAPSSET), focused on the creation of roads, ports and airports to promote connectivity. To this is added, he reported, the recent entry into force, on May 30, of the African Free Trade Agreement, of which Kenya is one of the signatories. "This set of factors makes it one of the most promising countries in Africa," he said.
Also, Casado said, Kenya's geostrategic position as the main port (Mombasa) of the Eastern African Community and country of passage in the main African trade routes, makes it an excellent logistics platform for foreign companies interested in establishing themselves in the region. Therefore, from CEOE it is considered that Kenya is a country with great opportunities for Spanish companies in sectors such as railway, airport, energy and electrical infrastructures; water management and treatment; and solid waste. Also, "new opportunities open up in the implementation of new technologies in the fields of agriculture, financial, hospital and manufacturing," he said.
Casado reported that CEOE has participated and organized various activities with Kenya over the past few years. Among the most recent, it is worth mentioning the visit to the headquarters of the Business Confederation of the CEO of the Kenyan Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Carole Kariuki, with which a collaboration agreement was signed to intensify economic relations between both countries. Likewise, Casado informed, CEOE maintains an excellent relationship with its counterpart organization in the OIE, the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE).
In this sense, the director of CEOE International thanked the efforts of the Spanish government to promote the III African Plan and intensify the high-level institutional visits, with strong economic and business content, such as the one that was held two months ago in Ethiopia, and can help articulate innovative financial instruments to support companies.