The Nairobi Overseas Centre was opened by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Cooperatives Mr Adan Mohamed, and Singapore’s Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Trade and Industry Dr Koh Poh Koon and KNCCI national Chairman Mr. Kiprono Kitony.
This is Enterprise Singapore’s third office in Africa, which will serve as its regional hub for East Africa. It complements Enterprise Singapore’s existing regional hubs in Johannesburg (South Africa) and Accra (Ghana). Enterprise Singapore’s Nairobi Overseas Centre will facilitate Singapore companies’ investments in Kenya and East Africa and promote partnerships between Singapore and East African companies.
“East Africa houses some of the fastest-growing economies in the continent. Enterprise Singapore sees great potential for Singapore companies to offer their knowledge and expertise across areas such as infrastructure development and manufacturing, which are key priorities in this region. Kenya, with its stable growth and business-friendly environment, is the gateway to East Africa and we are positive that our office here will broaden our network of East African partners and strengthen the Singapore brand in the region,” said Mr Yew Sung Pei, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore.
Currently, there are over 60 Singapore companies operating in Africa, across more than 50 countries, with US$19 billion invested in the continent. At the opening today, six Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed between Singapore and Kenyan companies across corporate governance, e-payment and trade facilitation. Among the signed MoUs was between KNCCI and vCargo Cloud Pte Ltd (VCC), a Singapore based service provider specializing in software solutions services. The MoU grants KNCCI access to and use of the SMART electronic Certificate of Origin (eCO). VCC developed the world first block chain eCO which was launched in May 2018 by the Singapore Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, the Nairobi Overseas Centre will allow Kenyan and African companies, including Small and Medium Sized Companies, to leverage Singapore as a gateway to capture growth opportunities in Asia. Strategically located at the heart of Asia, Singapore is in the middle of key trade flows from Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Australia and Asia, hence making a good springboard for African enterprises seeking growth in Asia.
On 12 June 2018, the Kenyan and Singapore governments signed Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) agreements to further cement bilateral economic ties. The signings were witnessed by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Shanmugaratnam. Singapore will also sign a BIT and an Air Services Agreement (ASA) with Rwanda on 14 June 2018. These agreements further boost cross-border trade and investment flows, adding to Singapore’s fast-growing treaty network with Africa.