Kenya’s new trade minister to crack down on local manufacturers repackaging imported goods
NAIROBI, Kenya – The newly appointed Kenya’s Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria plans to crack down o local manufacturers who are importing goods into the country and repackaging them, then selling them as locally produced items.
undertaking this in a bid to evade taxes.
“We know that some players in the industry are asking to reduce taxes or support the ease of doing business in the country, then they go ahead to abuse our policies by repackaging imported goods to look like locally manufactured goods,” said Kuria.
Mr. Kuria pointed out that it is important to support the local manufacturing sector since it contributes to tax revenue growth, and job creation increases exports, and supports various value chains.
“Our manufacturers need to increase their focus on enhancing value addition and by doing so, we shall be able to be a more self-reliant nation, source raw materials locally as well as competitively produce goods and services for the local and global market.”
However, he promised to support local enterprises by ensuring that the government addresses the value chain problem by linking it to the bottom-up economic model.
“Our aim is to ensure that local enterprises have the same competitive advantage as multinationals operating in Kenya. We shall be setting up export hubs in all 47 counties, this means that we should have linkages from the bottom of the pyramid all the way to the top,” said Kuria.
He further urged local manufacturers to tap into continental free trade to boost trade in Intra-Africa trade.
“It will be my dream to see Kenyan products on the shelves whenever I travel outside the country. Locally most of our retail chain stores are full of imported goods while we can have our own products in these chain stores.” laments Kuria.
According to Kenya Association of Manufacturers Chairman Rajan Shah, there is a need to continuously enhance and advocate for a competitive manufacturing sector by addressing the gap in the consumption of locally manufactured goods.
Shah “Kenya is endowed with diverse resources including human capital, raw materials, and renewable energy sources, among others, that have the potential to transform the country towards shared prosperity. Consuming our local products, as a nation instills in all of us a sense of ownership and pride in our products which strengthens our economy.”
The manufacturing sector contributes approximately 7.2 percent of Kenya’s GDP.