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Kenya’s ambiguous trade laws scare Japanese investors

July 10, 2019

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Japan Premier Shinzo Abe after the closing ceremony of TICAD 6 in Nairobi on August 28.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Japan Premier Shinzo Abe after the closing ceremony of TICAD 6 in Nairobi on August 28.

Japanese investors in Nairobi have raised complaints about unclear trade laws which they christened as a risk to their businesses.

They named lack of proper communication on policy and continuous changes in legislation as the main stumbling blocks. Japan External Trade Organisation also decried of political instability.

Elections in the East African country are a nightmare to the investors. In the last three general polls chaos was witnessed due to disputed elections results. Property worth millions of shillings was devastated and a number of foreign investors closed down their business to avoid loss making.

Japan External Trade Organisation deputy director of Middle East and Africa division Sawaka Takazaki said that Japan’s trade policy is affected by poor communication and poor implementation of new changes.

Poor infrastructure, hiring and human resource, social instability, trade regulation and foreign exchange have been stated as common problems in African countries.

Kenichi Ono, a professor in Japan’s National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies singled out power outage as common problem in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa which has pushed a number of companies to other countries such as Morocco.

“This is a risk companies do not want to take, especially in production and manufacturing,” said Prof. Ono.

 

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