The 2020 Expo logo[Photo :traveldaily.com]
Kenya’s participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai is projected to add 1.5 billion dollars shillings immediate value to the economy through business leads in investments, tourism, and exports, the Kenya Export Promotion, and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) CEO Wilfred Marubesaid.
Marube said that Kenya is banking on the expo to diversify its export markets, identify opportunities and create connections with importers.
Kenya is among the 192 countries which confirmed attendance at the expo and has set aside a pavilion measuring 400 square meters that has so far attracted 50,000 people with a projection of at least 2,000-3,000 visitors daily.
“We see the immediate benefits amounting to 1.5 billion shillings 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 push the Kenya brand to the world and increase awareness of Kenya’s tourism, trade, and investment opportunities,” he said.
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 555 million dollars in 2019 to 2.5 billion dollars in 2022.
“The UAE and gulf council of countries, for instance, is an area we want to get the maximum benefit of exporting, they are net importers of foods and Kenya is a high producer of agriculture products,” 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 these sectors.
The expo, Marube said, has a budget of 330 million shillings which has been channeled towards marketing, publicity, showcasing the products, and facilitating logistics.