At least 40 Chinese firms are interested in the privately-owned Special Economic Zone in Eldoret.
The investors from different Chinese firms will fly in next week for the official ground-breaking of the country’s first privately owned SEZ.
The project, which will cost an estimated $2billion (Sh207.36 billion) upon completion, will sit on more than 1,768 acres, according to locally-incorporated Africa Economic Zones. AEZ is spearheading the project through a joint venture with China’s privately owned Guangdong New South Group.
The project is aimed at opening up the greater East and Central Africa region and increasing Kenya’s foreign direct investments in such areas as .
The project, which will be implemented in four phases over 10 years, is targeted at a number of areas, including Medical Tourism.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in September 2015 signed the Special Economic Zones Act 2015 which spells out key measures to revamp activities in the blocs, including investment incentives. Some of the incentives are exemption on VAT, reduced corporate tax rates for a defined period, access to quality infrastructure and one-stop shops for licences.
“The licence we got covers three sites, the industrial park which is 700 acres, a 70 acre site which will be a science and technology park and the Olimpia City siting on 1,000 acres for commercial, residential and recreational development,” AEZ project director Ronald Kirui said yesterday.
The official ground breaking will be on July 7, with infrastructure development expected to begin in the next two to three months.
AEZ and Guangdong New South Group will jointly be responsible for the development of the zone’s infrastructure through establishment of roads, waste management facilities, provision of electricity and other factors contributing to the ease of doing business.
“We hope that by May 2018 we will have set up enough infrastructure developments to start enterprise construction,” Guangdong New South Group board director Wei Xiaolin said. “We hope to create and enable a favourable business environment that will boost the country’s economic growth.”
The project, which will be implemented in four phases in 10 years , is targeted at areas such as Medical Tourism, wildlife conservation, film industry, entertainment industry, manufacturing sector among others.
The first phase of the project will be on the 700 acre industrial park which Kirui said is targeting 150-400 local and international manufacturers in the long term.
“We expect to hit up to 40,000 direct jobs and 150,000 indirect jobs. In terms of production output we could see anything between $2-$3 billion (Sh207.36 billion-Sh311.04 billion) annually once the industrial park is fully developed,” Kirui said.
Originally posted in The Star