By MURIMI GITARI
In an event graced by the Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and cooperatives, his two permanent secretaries and the officials from Export Promotion Council led by the Chief Executive Officer Peter Biwott and the Chairman Mr. Jas Bedi, the Kenya Export Market Development Programme(KEMDP) was launched by EPC at the Intercontinental hotel in Nairobi. The programme is a calendar of promotional events that will guide its export market development activities.
Speaking during the launch, CS Munya said this is a milestone of promoting Kenya export with the document containing key promotion events that will consolidate and enlarge the traditional export markets that we are in existence.
‘We currently have export markets for East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and European Union (EU) and we aim at diversifying into new and emerging markets of North America, Eastern Europe and the rest of Africa,” the CS said.
The market development programme involves both the public and private sector stakeholders in consultations whereby they submit their activities to EPC for collation and analysis.
The council undertakes to identify export market opportunities for Kenyan goods and services through market studies, investigations, market intelligence as well as profiling of target markets and formulate appropriate market entry and penetration strategies.
Mr Jas Bedi, speaking about Kenya export initiatives in support of the BIG 4 Agenda by the government said that Kenyans import more than they export thus straining the economy but lauded the government due to the direct US flight that will definitely change the exportation status.
“With the new US direct flight, it is now the high time we embrace ethical export behaviour and develop standards due to the exporters that have got very little to export,” Mr. Bedi said. He lauded the floriculture industry for their quality products that they export.
The principal secretary, state department for Trade CBS, Dr. Chris Kiptoo said that there are 276 export promotion events all over the world lined up by EPC that are meant to provide information on what is happening. He announced the formation of Export Development and Promotion Strategy that is awaiting implementation. An export delivery unit is being set up that targets 25 percent growth of exports annually.
The KEMDP contains promotion activities that include market research, trade missions, contact promotion programmes, buyer/seller meetings, solo exhibitions, trade fairs and inward buying missions. The implementation of these activities is a collective effort by stakeholders, including Embassies and Missions abroad where these activities take place. KEMDP also supports the government’s Big 4 agenda by finding markets for the manufacturing sector in the country.
”We aim to spur the manufacturing sector to 15 share percent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) with exports playing an important role in realization of this target,” CS Munya said. The expectation of this is to grow manufacturing output by an addition of Kshs 1.6 trillion as a result.
The CS encouraged Kenya companies to attend any kind of events organized by EPC with counties being the new frontiers of exportation. He also challenged EPC on more valued addition and sensitization to targeted Agencies.
Also in attendance was Kanini Kega, the Parliamentary Committee Chairperson, Industry, Trade and Coperatives who pledged to dispense off any acts that comes before the committee and working closely with the executive in support of exports. He challenged the ministry to come up with a Trade Bill containing all necessary acts that take trade, industries and cooperatives into consideration and are addressed in one bill.