Chinese interested in Shs200 Billion Eldoret Industrial Park

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In line with the overall Government of Kenya’ plan enshrined in Vision 2030 manufacturing sector goals of SME parks, the Industrial & Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) has initiated the preparation of a Master Plan for an Industrial Park within Eldoret Municipality on Block 15/1757.

The proposed Industrial Park is expected to, among others, serve as focal point for supporting innovation, commercialization of industrial research findings, technology transfer, sub-contracting, cluster formation and promoting best practice in production and work environment for the benefit of the local community and the region at large. In addition, the proposed Industrial Park is expected to provide Physical and Business Development Services (BDS) facilities to support the local and foreign enterprises and facilitate their growth in various industrial sub sectors such as agro processing, agro machinery, as well as support services sectors i.e. packaging, ICT, etc.

At least 40 Chinese firms are eyeing a piece of the privately-owned Special Economic Zone(SEZ) 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 official ground breaking will be on July 7, with infrastructure development expected to begin in the next two to three months.

The project is aimed at opening up the greater East and Central Africa region and increasing Kenya’s foreign direct investments.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in September 215 igned 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.

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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.