On August 1, 2018, the Hub participated in the Kenya-Mauritius Business Forum and Trade Exhibition held in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme “An Economic Corridor Promoting Intra-African Trade and Investment.” The event was part of a three-day first session Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) between Mauritius and Kenya and was organized by the Economic Development Board of Mauritius and Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest).
The forum provided a platform for both countries to showcase available trade and investment opportunities for businesses and investors from either country and to discuss the issues faced in pursuit of those opportunities, along with possible mitigations.
“Kenya and Mauritius need to enhance joint ventures in manufacturing, training as well as services’ exchange to boost global competitiveness via manufacturing of products for the export market,” said Mauritius Foreign Affairs Under Secretary, Her Excellency Dwarka Canabady. She observed that commissioning daily flights between the two countries had boosted business-to-business (B2B) executive interactions, setting the stage for higher trade volumes between the two countries.
Mauritius has been a popular destination for Kenya’s investors. Most multinational companies in Kenya have subsidiaries registered in Port Louis due to its favorable tax regime with a corporate tax of 15 percent and export tax of three percent. It also allows 100 percent foreign ownership and has no capital gains tax, among other incentives.
During the event, KenInvest Chairperson Ann Kirima urged for closer cooperation, especially on value-addition ventures, saying that the Big 4 development agenda had created new openings for Mauritian companies to invest in Kenya. “Wealth management services as well as trust and succession handling services are well developed in Mauritius and that is an area that Kenya can heavily borrow enabling local families to thrive after founders’ demise,” she said.
The day concluded with a B2B session for the visiting Mauritian delegation and Kenyan businesses. The B2B session focused on unlocking potential joint ventures and strategic alliances. Eighty B2B meetings were held between the Mauritian and Kenyan operators, and their resulting linkages will form the basis for the development of a special economic corridor between the two countries. Several positive leads for the Mauritian participants to expand their market reach to Kenya have been already registered.