Home Business Nairobi International Financial Centre launched, to promote investments, economy

Nairobi International Financial Centre launched, to promote investments, economy

The objective is to develop a more stable, efficient and globally competitive financial services sector

by Michael Mureithi
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Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua delivers President Uhuru Kenyatta’s address during The Nairobi International Financial Centre launch on July 4, 2022 at State House, Nairobi/ PSCU

The Nairobi International Financial Centre has officially been launched.

The centre seeks make it easier and more attractive to invest and conduct financial services and related activities in and from Kenya.

According to the Treasury, the objective is to develop a more stable, efficient and globally competitive financial services sector that encourages domestic and foreign investment, generates greater savings and contributes to the country’s economic growth of the country.

It is a flagship initiative under the Vision 2030.

During the launch on Monday President Uhuru Kenyatta in a speech read by Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua, assured of the government’s commitment to providing a conducive environment for investment.

President Kenyatta said significant strides have already been made towards making Kenya dynamic and vibrant economy in East and Central Africa, citing key reforms across the business and financial services.

This, he said, have boosted the country’s position as an international financial services hub.

“In pursuit of this goal, I can confidently say we have not only tried, but have succeeded in cementing Nairobi’s pride and place in our journey towards being the international financial services hub envisioned in our Vision 2030,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta said the Nairobi International Financial Centre has been designed as an efficient and predictable business environment to give more confidence to the large pools of global capital that have been watching Kenya’s progress but not yet taken the decision to invest.

“We know investors have options and we want them to actively choose Kenya.  The Centre has and will continue to play a significant role in promoting the initiatives outlined above to target investors,” the President said.

The President cited the full automation of business-registration services, automation of the land registration processes, adoption of e-payment and e-filling services in the High Court as some of the reforms that have helped to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

“We have similarly automated and streamlined the payment of taxes and redesigned the import and export processes, in order to reduce costs and improve efficiency of our ports,” he said.

President Kenyatta said the country’s ecosystem of green economy institutions and business innovators have already created momentum through the development of the green bond framework in Kenya.

The centre’s focus on attracting green financing is also a strategic enabler of the country’s broader green economy strategy, including the development of the green manufacturing capacity by connecting energy-intensive manufacturers to cheaper, renewable sources of energy.

He added that the National Treasury is working closely with key stakeholders to deepen the domestic debt markets and improve pricing and efficiency to reduce the cost of capital for the development of green projects.

“These, among other attractions, provided good reason for Google to open its first African Product Development Centre in Nairobi earlier this year.  Microsoft has already opened a $ 27 million technology hub in Nairobi.

“In November last year, the President of the European Investment Bank was in the country to officially open the Bank’s regional hub that will cover eleven countries in Eastern and Central Africa.  VISA also opened its first African Innovation Studio in Nairobi,” President Kenyatta said.

He challenged the centre to crowd in investment that would otherwise not have been committed by accelerating the development of a conducive investment framework that supports economic growth.

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