Canadians pledge new investment

Paul Udoto
The Nation (Nairobi)
March 23, 2004

A Canadian trade delegation has pledged to get more investors for Kenya’s mining, agriculture and telecommunications sectors.

Members of the delegation said the country had made improvements in the investment climate and cited the proposed investment code and privatisation Bill.

Ms Jeniffer Rosebrugh, Canada’s officer in charge of trade in sub-Saharan Africa, said Kenya and her government had a common vision in fighting corruption.

Canada passed the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act in 2002. It sets penalties for Canadians who engage in the vice abroad.

“We are serious that our companies do clean business, and will prosecute them in Canada if they offer bribes abroad,” she said.

She is leading a six-member Ontario Trade Mission delegation to Kenya to assess the business climate.

They met officials from the Kenya Export Promotion Council, the Promotion Investment Centre and the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry during a seminar at Nairobi’s Serena Hotel yesterday.

Other Ontario members on a similar mission are visiting Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.

Canadian regional trade counsellor Ronald Rose said his country wanted to rely less on the United States and diversify its trade to include China, India and Africa by 2025.

In 2002, Kenya exported tea (Sh230 million), coffee (Sh202 million), horticultural products (Sh14 million) and wood-related goods (Sh11 million) to Canada.

Imports from Canada were old clothing (Sh422.5 million), telecommunication (Sh175 million), wheat (Sh109 million), aircraft related items (Sh101 million) and engines, motor vehicles and steam turbines (Sh74 million).

Ms Rosebrugh said her government had set up two funds to help its business community invest in Africa by providing money below the market rates.

Categories: Africa, Kenya, Odious Debts

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