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Sunday, Aug 25, 2002

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Kenya invites investments

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NEW DELHI, Aug. 24

KENYA has called upon Indian entrepreneurs to explore investment opportunities in that country in the areas of textiles, fertilisers, pesticides and tyres.

"Kenya offers various benefits to investors including a liberal economic regime, cheap labour, investment guarantee and protection, good market access to developed countries such as the US. We still have only one tyre company. The Indian tyre companies must look at Kenya for setting up units'', the Kenyan High Commissioner to India, Mr Lazarus O Amayo, said here at a seminar on `Focus-Africa'.

He also asked Indian entrepreneurs to look at setting up units in Kenya's export processing zones in the area of textiles and take advantage of the duty-free and quota-free access to the US provided under the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA).

"We have two companies - Leena Denim from Mumbai and Orange Style from Chennai which have set up units in our zones. We can have more companies'', he said.

Mr Amayo stressed the need for diversification of trade between India and Kenya in both volume and value terms. He pointed out that a bilateral trade of $ 140 million in 2001 was still low.

Indo-Kenyan trade relations have been in tilted in favour of India in 2001, with India's exports to Kenya at $120 million and Kenya's exports to India at $20 million.

He also called for a change in mindset on India's perception about Africa. "The default rate in the case of Africa is much lower than the levels that you may have with the US and the EU. Don't come to any judgement about Africa by just only watching Discovery channel and CNN'', Mr Amayo said.

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