Wesgro successfully completed a Trade and Investment Mission to Kenya, from 25 to 29 October 2021 - A 12 person business delegation aimed at establishing firm trade relations and strategic partnerships with Kenyan companies in key sectors, including agribusiness, manufacturing and tourism services.
The biggest highlight of the mission was the partnership entered into between Wesgro and Equity Bank of Kenya to facilitate trade and investment between Kenya and the Western Cape, and for South African companies to take advantage of the $5bn (R75, 559bn) fund set aside by Equity Bank Kenya to finance cross border trade and investment between identified countries in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Between 2016 and 2019, Kenya was among the Western Cape’s top five export markets on the African continent, and top ten globally - accounting for 8% of the Western Cape’s total exports in 2019 and 3% in 2020. In addition, flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel has been the Western Cape’s leading exported product to Kenya over the past couple of years. It accounted for over 60% of the province’s exports to Kenya in both 2018 and 2019.
Between January 2010 and December 2020, a total of 21 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects were recorded from the Western Cape to Kenya, with a corresponding capex of US$180 million (R2, 776bn). These FDI projects supported the creation of 1 331 jobs. The software and IT services industry (24%) had the highest shares of the province’s 21 outward FDI projects into Kenya, followed by business services (19%) and food and beverages (19%). This trend also evidences increasing levels of services exports from the Western Cape into key markets in the rest of Africa.
While Kenya is already a significant trade and investment partner, ongoing trade integration on the African Continent brings further opportunities. Completion and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Tripartite Free Trade Area would see reductions in tariffs on goods traded between South Africa and countries outside the Southern African Development Community (SADC), such as Kenya; as well as further cooperation on areas such as services trade and investment.
Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, commented: “From 2010 to 2020 the Western Cape consistently recorded a positive trade balance with Kenya. Therefore, we welcome this partnership as it will help build a strong network in Kenya for Western Cape business dealing in agribusiness, manufacturing and tourism services.”
“Following previous successful Wesgro trade missions to Kenya in the last 5 years, we are very optimistic that this partnership will further strengthen business links between Kenya and the Western Cape and establish firm trade relations with a number of Kenyan companies and other key strategic partners”, concluded Wesgro CEO, Wrenelle Stander.