Ruto urges counties to tap into foreign markets
Deputy President William Ruto has appealed to County Governments to take advantage of international markets secured by the Government by diversifying their products.
Mr Ruto said President Uhuru Kenyatta is in Arusha and recently was in China for the China Expo to seek markets for Kenyan exports.
According to him, these are opportunities if tapped into by the counties will turn around the economic fortune of the Country.
“As we expand markets for exports counties must be positioning production to feed into the export market that the Government is looking for, otherwise it will be a wasted effort.
“We have now signed an agreement that will now make it possible for Kenyans to export macadamia, avocado, horticulture, tea, coffee and pyrethrum into Chinese Market. We can now access a 1.3 Billion market. That is where any responsible County Government should be focusing on,” he said.
DP Ruto was speaking in Naivasha during the Nakuru International Investors Conference (NIICO) 2018.
His sentiments were echoed by Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa who said “the Government has looked for markets, it is up to us to produce.”
Mr Ruto asked Kenyans to embrace the production of exports and earn more income as opposed to production for personal consumption.
The Deputy President said the Government seeks to increase the production of potatoes by 500 per cent and rice 300 per cent to increase sources of starch to eliminate pressure from maize.
Mr Ruto added: “This diversification on narrative is what we are focusing on in the Big Four. That is why we had the blue economy the other day because we want to get into our oceans seas lakes and rivers to access more food. That is how we are going to have a food secure nation.”
The Deputy President said the Government will continue supporting counties by promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, expanding technical and vocational training.
Mr Ruto further noted that the Government is focused of improving the ease and cost of doing business in Kenya to attract investors into the country.
He said the provision of amenities like security, electricity, and transport and communications infrastructure has been expanded throughout the country and dedicated to areas of industrial production and high investor presence.
“Registering businesses, obtaining permits, licences and approval is cheaper, faster and much more transparent, consistent and predictable.
“Kenya has always been attractive as an investment destination and hub for regional and international activity across many sectors,” he said.
The Deputy President further said the Government was working on a policy that will see Government suppliers sign a contract outlining the lasted expected date of payment of supplied good. He said the move that will eliminate delay in payment of supplied goods.
Present at the conference were Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Senate speaker Ken Lusaka, Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo, MPs Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Kimani Kuria (Molo), Jane Kihara (Naivasha) and over 1,000 of Investors.
Mr Kiptoo urged Kenyan investors to explore available opportunities on demand in the international market.
“We need to diversify our exports. We are working on securing international markets,” he said.
The Trade PS called on County bosses to create conducive environment that will ensure counties harness natural resources for economic growth.
Governor Kinyanjui said his administration is working with private investors to create special economic zones a move he said will reduce unemployment rate in the county.
“We need to find a way of working with investors to explore our natural resources,” he said.
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