Thursday, August 23, 2012 10:18 AM
Kenya will not be dumping ground for counterfeit goods, President Kibaki says
President Mwai Kibaki has directed the Kenya Bureau of Standards and other relevant Government agencies to be extra vigilant in order to apprehend and prosecute those importing sub-standard and counterfeit goods.
Saying his Government was aware that the manufacturing sector is threatened by unfair competition from imported sub-standard and counterfeit goods, President Kibaki emphasized that no one will be allowed to turn Kenya into a dumping ground.
“We must not allow Kenya to become the dumping ground for sub-standard goods,” President Kibaki said.
The President was speaking today when he officially opened the Revital Healthcare (EPZ) Limited, a pharmaceutical company at Changamwe in Mombasa .
President Kibaki encouraged local manufacturers to focus on the export markets, saying the Government has created a suitable environment for an export-driven industrial sector by honouring it obligations under the existing regional as well as bilateral trading pacts.
Said the President, “These include, the East African Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), among others.”
He, therefore, urged the local manufacturing companies to seize the condusive opportunities opened by the Government to increase their production capacity and create more jobs for Kenyans.
President Kibaki also challenged investors in the EPZ to diversify from apparels into other products, saying there were many unexploited opportunities in horticulture and floriculture processing, pharmaceuticals, sisal dart boards, security printing, assembly of batteries and torch bulbs, fortified blended foods, plastic products and call centre services among others.
The Head of State observed that diversification is the challenge that faces the Export Processing Zones that were initially mandated to diversify the country’s export base from the traditional agricultural goods to processed end-products by attracting both international and local investments into the country.
In this regard, President Kibaki commended Revital Healthcare for being one of the few companies in the EPZ, that does not manufacture apparels and its products are being exported to the neighbouring countries of Sudan , Burundi , Tanzania and Zambia , thus earning the country valuable foreign exchange.
“I am glad to note that this factory has already commenced operations with a production capacity of 20 million syringes per month, making it the largest facility of its kind in East and Central Africa ,” the President said.
For Kenya to attain and sustain a ten percent annual economic growth, the President stressed that more emphasis should be put on industrialization, adding that the manufacturing sector is expected to play a critical role in propelling the country’s economy to a middle level status in two decades in line with VISION TWENTY THIRTY.
President Kibaki said the manufacturing sector will also be critical in supporting the country’s social development agenda through the creation of jobs by attracting foreign direct investments.
The Head of State, therefore, called on investors to embrace new technologies in order to raise productivity and make the country’s industries internationally competitive.
On its part, the President said his Government is implementing various recommendations to reform the transport sector and to facilitate the movement of goods and services in to address some of these challenges facing the manufacturing sector.
He reiterated that the port of Mombasa and border entry points of Lunga Lunga, Taveta, Namanga, Isebania, Malaba and Busia will operate on a 24-hour basis, while all unnecessary road blocks have been removed.
President Kibaki disclosed that the Ministry of Industrialization and all other regulatory agencies have also been directed to consolidate their license regimes in order to reduce bureaucracy and enhance efficiency.
“The government is also working on modalities of strengthening local production capacity by encouraging consolidation and establishment of special zones and parks to better service the export-oriented firms,” the Head of State said.
In this connection, the Head of State urged investors to complement the Government initiatives by developing new products through value addition which will enable them to penetrate new markets, especially the Middle East and the Far East .
He said the Government will soon amend the EPZ act to reflect the country’s changing development needs, adding that the changes proposed under the EPZ Act are being considered in line with the VISION TWENTY THIRTY flagship projects.
“They include development of industrial and manufacturing zones in different regions of the country. In addition, five Small and Medium Enterprise industrial parks in key urban centers will be developed. Local authorities will play a critical role in developing these parks by providing relevant infrastructure and services to make them attractive,” President Kibaki said.
Speaking during the occasion, Medical Services Minister Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o said his ministry had put in place proper regulatory laws to guard against counterfeit of drugs and non-pharmaceuticals to enable pharmaceutical companies to prosper in the country.
The Minister said dumping of substandard drugs was not only detrimental to health but also hampered growth of the pharmaceutical industry.
Cabinet Ministers Beth Mugo of Public Health and Sanitation,
Chirao Ali Makwere of Transport and Najib Balala of Tourism
were among senior Government officials who attended the occasion.