Deputy President William Ruto said, Kenya has to do more to make it a preferred gateway to Africa for investors.
He said, the country must adopt a radical and progressive stance in reforming the business and regulatory environment.
“Intensified collaboration between the Government, development partners and the private sector would firmly drive Kenya into being the continent’s business hub,” he said during the launch of the World Bank’s Doing Business in Kenya 2020 Report on Thursday in Nairobi.
Dr Ruto said despite being ranked 56th globally out of 190 countries, first worldwide in the Protecting Minority Investors indicator and third in Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya should not rest on its laurels if it is to rewrite its economic trajectory.
By putting in more effort in pro-business policies and programmes, the Deputy President noted that more international flows would be realised, and more jobs and wealth generated.
Leaders present during the function were East African Community CS Adan Mohammed, World Bank Group, Finance Competitiveness and Innovation Regional Focal Point Augustine Langyintuo, Development Partners Representative Julius Court, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Kenya Private Sector Alliance CEO Carole Kariuki.
Dr Ruto said the Government had upped its efforts in not only making it easy for businesses to flourish but also towards turning Kenya into a home to a thriving army of talented and innovative entrepreneurs.
“Positioning on its own is not enough, strategic intent must go with action. This is what led to the President’s directive in 2014 to embed Doing Business as part of the Government’s deliverables in attracting investments, supporting the informal sector and maintaining our competitiveness,” said Dr Ruto.
He said Kenya had for the second consecutive year emerged as the third most reformed country in the world in the business ranking.
He said the country’s target was to reach the top 50 by 2020, adding that this “would place the country in a catalytic position in guaranteeing investment flows from around the globe”.
The Deputy President noted that poor business environment in any respect hurts millions as it diminishes opportunities for growth.
“The deliberate and continued improvement of physical infrastructure is all part of this master-plan of driving our economic development,” he explained.
Mr Court said development partners were impressed at the Government’s commitment to providing conducive environment for investors.
“Investor environment continues to improve in Kenya and we must appreciate the efforts of the Government on this,” said Mr Court.
On his part, Mr Langyintuo observed that it was impressive that for the last five years, Kenya had continued to achieve steady improvement in the ease of doing business.
CS Mohammed said small and medium-sized enterprises had greatly benefitted from the Government’s reforms that have led to its improvement in the ease of doing business in various categories.
“We have tremendous progress and we are now focusing on the improvement of services at the Port of Mombasa, construction companies and lands in terms of property,” said Mr Mohammed.
Ms Kariuki said KEPSA would continue to partner with the Government in ensuring conducive environment for investments so as to further improve the ease of doing business in the country.