NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 5 -Kenya’s Pavillion at the Expo 2020 Dubai is attracting up to 3,000 visitors daily, the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) CEO Wilfred Marube said noting that it has had more than 50,000 people since its launch a month ago.
Marube, who spoke to Capital Business, said that the agency targets to have at least 7.5 million visitors by March 2022 when the six-month event is set to end.
Kenya is among the 192 countries which confirmed attendance at the expo and has set up a pavilion measuring 400 sq meters that showcases various products highlighting agriculture potential, innovation sector, (fintech, edu-tech, agri-tech ), cultural diversity, energy, tourism, manufacturing sectors among others.
The expo, Marube said has a budget of 330 million shillings which has been channeled towards marketing, publicity, showcasing the products, and facilitating logistics.
Describing the pavilion-themed feel the energy, the KEPROBA CEO noted that it reflects and summarises the Kenyan people, whom he described as hardworking and determined.
Thirty-four MSMEs have already benefitted from a program through which their products ranging from cultural artifacts, tea, honey, coffee were freely shipped to the expo for showcasing.
In order to facilitate more business people to attend the expo, the agency has secured a position at the global village(outside the expo) dubbed Kenya house where enterprises can showcase their products and services at a subsidized fee.
“I want to encourage Kenyan businesses to participate in the expo through these avenues, we also have a website whereby those that cannot be able to ship their products, can get the opportunity to exhibit their products,” he added.
He said the expo is projected to add USD 1.5bn immediate value to the economy through business leads in investments, tourism, and exports.
“We see the immediate benefits amounting to Sh 1.5 bn in terms of what we anticipate of wide-range investment and exports. We are looking for opportunities in tourism, sales, and exports, by participating in the Expo, Kenya will enhance its profile and image in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East, while at the same time pushing the Kenya brand to the world and increasing awareness of Kenya’s tourism, trade, and investment opportunities,” he said.
In addition, he said Kenya will leverage the expo to project itself as a hub for direct foreign investments through various fora including one on housing and infrastructure where Kenya will meet potential investors and showcase investment opportunities across the sectors.
As part of the medium to a long-term plan, resources mobilized and commitments from government-to-government agreements are expected to leverage up to USD 1 billion from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states sovereign wealth funds.
More specifically, Kenya is eyeing the United Arab Emirates (UAE)/ GCC markets which Marube noted has ‘barely been scratched’ even as he reveals its huge potential owing to its high GDP, huge sovereign funds and it being a net importer.
Kenya is seeking to grow its exports to the GCC from USD 555 million in 2019 to USD 2.5 billion in 2022.
“The UAE and gulf council of country, for instance, is an area we want to get the maximum benefit of export, they are net importers of foods and Kenya is a high producer of agriculture products,” he said.