Kenya and India collaborate to Increase Indian Investment in the Nation

Posted on :Tuesday , 15th August 2023

Kenya and India are collaborating on strategies to promote more Indian investment in the nation in an effort to increase trade, investment, manufacturing, and employment possibilities.


According to international Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Korir Sing'oei, the Kenyan government has created an atmosphere that is conducive to company operation and growth, which is essential for drawing in international investment.


Speaking at the Mövenpick hotel, Sing'oei claimed that the story of the Kenyan-Indian community's influence on the nation was one of tenacity, diligence, and enormous creativity in virtually every area of the economy, from manufacturing to health, agriculture, hospitality, and culture.


"We cannot ignore the manufacturing sector where we have benefited from great contributions from the likes of Manu Chandaria, Vimal Shah, the Merali family, and the Patel family, among others, who have played a crucial role in defining our nation's manufacturing landscape, particularly in textile, steel, iron, pharmaceuticals, food processing, among many others," said Sing'oei.


The PS stated that the Kenyan-Indian community had contributed to the creation of hospitals like MP Shah, Aga Khan, and Mediheal, which had improved the health sector and had given the medical industry a qualified staff.


The PS suggested Kenyans to adopt the communal way of life practised by Indians, whereby people unite and launch enterprises such as hospitals, schools, and sports facilities like the Oshwal club in an effort to help one another.


"I have noticed that the majority of Indian enterprises are family-owned, are passed down from father to son, and continue to grow. The majority of Kenyan wealth that a generation creates frequently disappears in the second or third generation. It is time for Kenyans to embrace the idea of involving their children into their businesses early enough so that they can learn and carry on with the business long after the parents have passed on," said Sing'oei. 


Sing'oei recalled that they had recently travelled to Djibouti with President William Ruto to meet with the leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a group of about seven nations. There, they discussed the formation of a new regional economic bloc that would bring together members of the East African Community (EAC) as well as Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, and Eritrea in an effort to promote free trade and facilitate migration.


"The Kenyan government is engaged in creating larger markets that go beyond Kenya so that when foreign investors like those from India set up businesses in Kenya they are able to access a larger regional market," said Singoei.


He said that the government has implemented numerous initiatives, including those involving infrastructure, licencing, and the removal of tariff and nontariff barriers, to help businesses run as efficiently as possible.


According to Namgya Khampa, the High Commissioner of India to Kenya, Kenya and India have a long and rich history together, and the diaspora may play a significant part in fostering that relationship.


For the benefit of both nations, Khampa added, "We are looking at working with Kenya’s priorities and India’s capacities to see how we can align them and get greater Indian investments and expertise as well as getting the exchanges going on smoothly for the benefit of both countries,” 


She stated that Kenyan-Indians have contributed significantly to Kenya's growth and should be recognised for their success in overcoming their low beginnings to become an overwhelming force.


According to Khampa, as India marks its 75th anniversary of independence, they are acknowledging the enormous contribution made by the diaspora of Indian descent, which is thought to number 30 million people worldwide and 80,000 in Kenya.


Said Khampa, "the Indian diaspora is a force to be reckoned with and is erecting a bridge of friendship between the nations they are in and India."


According to United Asian Network (UAN) chairman Bimal Kantaria, the group acts as an umbrella body for the diverse group of Asian think tanks in Kenya that include representatives from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. They work to bring everyone together so that they can engage in a discussion about the country's development.


As stated by Kantaria, they are first Kenyans and subsequently Indians, adding that in his family's instance, they arrived in Kenya for the first time in 1898.


"As the largest ethnic group in Kenya, we are heavily involved in manufacturing, but over the next few years, Information Technology (IT) will be an essential field in which we will invest to support the government's agenda for digital transformation," added Kantaria.


He continued by saying that they would also be investing in the services industry and agriculture, where they would be considering using millet as a replacement for maize in light of global warming and in support of the ministry of agriculture's push for more drought-tolerant crops to replace maize. This year is the year of the millet.


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