Last month, 80 Hong Kong business representatives were in Kenya looking for investment and business opportunities in efforts to reduce the trade imbalance favouring China.
The business leaders from the two countries are working together to promote trade and investment. In addition, the Hong Kong investors were encouraged to make use of the government’s Big Four agenda which offers opportunities for doing business in Kenya.
In 2017, Kenya exported goods worth Sh6.2 billion to Hong Kong and imported goods worth Sh6.7 billion from China.
Reducing Import Tax
According to the manager of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Elvin Law, the opportunity for investment in Kenya is huge but the country should reduce the import tax to decrease the cost of doing business and attract Hong Kong investors.
“If [Kenya] wants to capture more market, [it] needs to get rid of the import tax. The import tax is definitely very high. So if [Hong Kong investors] make use of the local manufacturing opportunities, they will have more profit margins,” he said.
Kenya imports electronics, machinery, clothing and furniture and exports fruits, vegetables, tobacco, skins and hides from Hong Kong and exports fish, vegetables, leather, and tobacco to the region.
The national director of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Omarsadik Dahiye urged Kenyans to tap into the avocado market in Hong Kong which is extensive. He also advised Kenyans to tap into the overall vast market share in China.
Hong Kong, which has a population of 7.4 million people, is the gateway to the Chinese market.