Business

KNCCI to open office in United Arab Emirates

KNCCI to open office in United Arab Emirates

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) will set up a trade command base at the United Arab Emirates.

KNCCI president Richard Ngatia said the chamber will sign many Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with many countries and chambers across the globe. “UAE has accorded the chamber 5,000 square feet office floor,” said Mr Ngatia

This office will assist Small and Medium Enterprises Companies enter into trade partnerships with companies in the oil rich country.

TRADE DEALS

“With this signing of MoU, the chamber is optimistic of more trade deals as local companies move into the that region and buy goods in tax free trade zones,” said Mr Ngatia

He said that with such collaborations, the chamber will help local traders get the right goods.

“We shall avail to local investors proper details on how to reach us and start looking for trading partners in the UAE,” said Mr Ngatia on Saturday as he opened the CySuites Apartment Hotel in Westlands, Nairobi.

He said the MoUs will benefit the chamber, members and the private sector.

He lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta for signing into law the Finance Bill 2019. The Bill scraped the capping of interest. He said this will rejuvenate the critical real estate and construction industries.

INTEREST RATES

He observed that when the government introduced the interest cap rates, the market did not react positively.

“The banking sector lending rate will be competitive and the economy will thrive again,” added Mr Ngatia who is also the chairperson of the Great Lake Regions Chamber of Commerce.

He said that in 2019, real estate had been affected by stringent banking rules, increased taxation, rise in the price of properties, cost of building materials and construction.

The government plans to partner with private sector to introduce technological changes, innovative products and services to lower cost of building affordable houses.

While government has not defined an affordable home, Kenya Property Developers Association defines such a home as worth Sh4 million.

This amount of loan could be paid by Kenyans earning between Sh40,000 and Sh100,000 per month.

BIG FOUR AGENDA

To support the government initiative, the private sector has offered 9,900 acres of land and pledged Sh26 billion for the implementation of the programme which is part of the government’s Big Four Agenda.

“There is a financial gap of Sh900 million to make the programme sustainable,” said Mr Ngatia.

He called on players in the sector to push for better mortgages for the clients. He lauded Cytonn board for launching a vibrant Money Market fund.

He promised to support the company market their new CySuites apartment if they partner with KNCCI.

“We have many foreign visitors to Kenya and with CySuites as our partners, they can enjoy the facilities,” said Mr Ngatia.

INCENTIVES

Kenya’s real estate sector has had challenges, risks of urbanisation and lack policies to manage the problems affecting the sector.

Some of the obstacles in the sector include poor planning by county governments, land registry’s inability to deal with volumes of transactions and poor infrastructure.

He urged local investors to take advantage of government incentives to set up industries in economic processing zones.

Recently the International Monetary Fund announced that Kenya’s Gross Development Product could rise to 5.6 per cent annually.