The Kenyan Cabinet has approved the merger of the Export Promotion Council and the Brand Kenya Board to create the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA).
This follows an earlier Presidential directive on the key objective of the integrated National Exports Development and Promotion Strategy (NEDPS) which the Government launched mid this year, and aims at growing Kenya’s exports at an average rate of 25 per cent per annum.
KEPROBA will be a one-stop-shop for all trade promotion and branding activities covering local as well as regional and international engagements so as to eliminate duplication and hence create a uniform image of Kenya.
Further, the Cabinet approved a Memorandum by the National Treasury for the set up of a framework for Issuance of Government Support Measures which include Letters of Support, Letters of Comfort, Undertakings and Project-Based Guarantees. The policy framework is aimed at standardising meaning, treatment and forms of Government Support Measures.
The framework will also establish a clear and predictable process for the management of Government project-linked financial risks and liabilities while at the same time improving confidence in decision making as well as eliminating ambiguity in the application and issuance process.
The new measures are aimed at promoting the deployment of Private-Public Partnerships as a preferred approach in the financing and delivery of projects in the country.
This will go a long way in the implementation of key projects off-budget in line with the President’s recent pronouncements.
Cabinet was further informed that His Excellency the President will lead a strong delegation of horticultural farmers and traders to China in November this year for the 1st Shanghai Import Expo during which a number of trade deals will be negotiated and sealed.
Among the agreements expected to be signed at the Expo is the Sanitary and Phytosanitary deal between Kenya and China that will open doors for over 40 per cent of Kenya’s fresh produce including avocado, mangoes and cashew nuts into the expansive Chinese market.
The Agreement will also allow for the export of stevia, a sweetener largely grown in the Rift Valley, into the Chinese market.
Another expected outcome of the President’s visit to Shanghai will be the signing of an MOU for the establishment of a trade negotiation working group whose mandate will be to negotiate trade tariffs especially on Kenya’s tea and coffee exports to China as well as explore the additional market for the country’s cash crops.
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