KEPSA leads mission to Finland as it seeks deeper Trade-ties
By Rolex Owino
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) is counting on an upcoming Investment Forum in Helsinki, Finland – to deepen trade ties between Kenya and Finland.
KEPSAwill be leading a Kenyan trade delegation to Finland, where it expects to pitch for business opportunities at the forum, scheduled for October.
The investment forum is set to be interactive, giving an opportunity for participants to contribute to the discussions as they forge for trade relations.
During the forum, Kenya companies will learn on modules that will help them benefit from Finnpartnership. Finnpartnership is a Finnish business partnership programme that provides advisory services and financial support for the business activities of Finnish companies with interests in operating within developing countries.
Also, Finnfund, a Finnish development finance company – is responsible for the management and implementation of such programmes, on behalf of Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It supports feasible and commercially viable partnerships between companies in Finland and in developing countries.
“Kenyan companies will be guided on how to enter Finnpartnership’s free of charge matchmaking programme, and review proposals of Finnish companies that are looking for partners from Kenya at the moment,” KEPSAsaid in a communiqué, urging its members and the Kenya private sector to embrace the forum.
The matchmaking program takes in all types of business proposals, which include Importing, Exporting, Joint Ventures and Investments.
“At the end of the seminar there will be a chance to meet Finnpartnership and Finnish companies and engagement in direct matchmaking opportunities,” KEPSA’sleadership affirmed.
The Kenya Finland Investment Forum is scheduled to take place between October 11 – 13, 2018.
Participating sectors will include Information & Communications Technology, Health and Energy.
Kenya and Finland have enjoyed a good diplomatic relation dating back to June 1965, with Finland recognising Kenya as key in maintaining regional stability, in addition to its diversified economy.
Finland has been pushing for trade in Kenya through the ‘Team Finland’ network, which promotes Finland and its interests abroad. Its core purpose is to enhance the internationalisation of Finnish enterprises, investments in Finland, and to boost the country’s brand abroad.
The core of the network consists of publicly funded organisations such as ministries, Finland’s network of diplomatic missions, Finpro, Tekes, national culture and science institutes, Finnvera, Finnfund, and the regional internationalisation services, built upon the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres).
The Team Finland network helps enterprises become more international, grow, and succeed in the global market.
In 2014, total development assistance from Finland to Kenya stood at Euro €13.9 million (US$15.9 million). This is about Ksh1.6 billion.
Annual trade between the two countries is in excess of US$45 million, where Kenya exports mainly horticultural products, tea and coffee – while importing information & communications technology expertise and power plant equipment.
The countries signed a double taxation pact in 2014 to promote trade and investment.
Source: African Strategic-Ventures (ASV) & The Exchange.