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NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 5 -Kenya’s participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai is projected to add USD 1.5bn immediate value to the economy through business leads in investments, tourism, and exports, the Kenya Export Promotion, and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) CEO Wilfred Marube said.
In an interview with Capital Business, Marube said that Kenya is banking on the expo to diversity its export markets, identify opportunities and create connections with importers.
“We see the immediate benefits amounting to Sh 1.5 bn in terms of what we anticipate of wide-range investment and exports. We are looking for opportunities in tourism, sales, and exports, by participating in the Expo, Kenya will enhance its profile and image in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East, while at the same time push the Kenya brand to the world and increase awareness of Kenya’s tourism, trade, and investment opportunities,” he said.
As part of the medium to a long-term plan, resources mobilized and commitments from government-to-government agreements are expected to leverage up to USD 1 billion from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States Sovereign Wealth Funds.
More specifically, Kenya is eyeing the United Arab Emirates (UAE)/ GCC markets which Marube noted has ‘barely been scratched’ even as he reveals its huge potential owing to its high GDP, huge sovereign funds and it being a net importer.
Kenya is seeking to grow its exports to the GCC from USD 555 million in 2019 to USD 2.5 billion in 2022.
“The UAE and gulf council of country, for instance, is an area we want to get the maximum benefit of export, they are net importers of foods and Kenya is a high producer of agriculture products,” he said.
In addition, he said Kenya will leverage the expo to project itself as a hub for direct foreign investments through various fora including one on housing and infrastructure where Kenya will meet potential investors and showcase investment opportunities across these sectors.
The expo, Marube said has a budget of 310 million shillings which has been channeled towards marketing, publicity, showcasing the products, and facilitating logistics.
Kenya is among the 192 countries which confirmed attendance at the expo and has set up a Pavillion measuring 400 sq meters that has so far attracted 50,000 people with a projection of at least 2,000-3,000 visitors daily.
Marube said the government projects to have at least 7.5 million visitors by March 2022.
Describing the pavilion-themed feel the energy, the KEPROBA CEO noted that it reflects and summarises the Kenyan people, whom he described as hardworking and determined.
The pavilion showcases various products highlighting agriculture potential, innovation sector, (fintech, edu-tech, agri-tech ), cultural diversity, energy, tourism, and manufacturing sectors.
Thirty-four MSMEs have already benefitted from a program whereby their products ranging from cultural artefacts, tea, coffee were freely shipped to the expo for showcasing.
In order to facilitate more business people to attend the expo, the agency has secured a position at the global village(outside the expo) dubbed Kenya house where enterprises can showcase their products and services at a subsidized fee.
“I want to encourage Kenyan businesses to participate in the expo through these avenues, we also have a website whereby those that cannot be able to ship their products, can get the opportunity to exhibit their products,” he added.
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