A delegation from India is on its visit to Kenya to explore opportunities in the country’s leather sector. Led by Aqeel Ahmed Panaruna, Chairman of Council of Leather Exports, India, 17 companies have come to look out for possible investment and trade opportunities in the sector.
The visit is being facilitated by the UN’s International Trade Centre (ITC). Under ITC’s Supporting Indian Trade and Investments in Africa (SITA), East African nations including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania will receive support to boost their exports to India. This is the third time Indian investors have visited Nairobi, Kenya.
Industrialization Principal Secretary (PS) of Kenya Betty Maina welcomed the delegation. She said, “The government’s focus is to increase and improve leather, textile and apparel output.” Currently, the Kenyan leather sector contributes 0.3 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation.
Inviting investments to set up manufacturing plants in Nairobi, Kenyan government also intends to use the partnership to reduce the bilateral trade imbalance which is skewed in favour of India.
“Since we know you are here for a short time and it will be hectic to source for land and build your own structures, we have identified ready go downs and other business facilities which are ready for your occupation. We will take you round so that you can see and choose for yourself,” said Maina.
Kenya, being a signatory of the Eastern Africa Community (EAC), Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), holds a huge potential in the leather sector with available market
“There are a lot of opportunities here and it is a gold mine. It is the right time for India to invest in Kenya’s leather industry. We know what exactly to invest in and am sure some of the companies here today will invest in Kenya,” said Aqeel Ahmed.
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