Trade CS Moses Kuria has expressed his desire to abolish laws that require foreign firms to relinquish at least 30 per cent of their shareholding to Kenyan citizens by birth.
Kuria who spoke in Nairobi during the launch of a ride-hailing app on Monday said such requirements are outdated and have limited international companies to invest in the country.
“We have got this part in our statute that requires international companies to have thirty per cent local ownership if you’re to set up some of the operations like data centres. Ladies and gentlemen ‘hiyo ni mambo imepitwa na wakati’(those laws are outdated),” Kuria said.
The Trade, Investments, and Industry Cabinet Secretary said that in the current times, it is difficult to expect some of the major corporations in the world to cede part ownership in order to comply.
“We have the issue of SpaceX, the Elon Musk company which has always wanted to come here but because of this rule of thirty per cent that can’t happen,” he said.
Kuria noted that he will be presenting that as an agenda during the next Cabinet meeting to provide an avenue for increased investments in the country.
“I am going to take to the Cabinet this amendment to remove this regulation so that companies can come here and use this country to base their operations so that we can also live with the changing times,” Kuria said.
He added that he will spearhead such motions in the necessary forums in order to change rules that limit how the country operates and gains revenues.
“I am going to take my case to the Cabinet, Parliament so that we can have an environment that is conducive not only for local developers but also for international companies. I am going to do whatever it takes to attract this investment,” he said.
Kuria’s remarks come on the backdrop of his publicised plan to raise foreign direct investments in the country from the current $500 million to $10 billion at the end of the year.
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