EPZA roots for private-public partnerships to promote local industrialization

By Abdi Hussein

The Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) management in Athi River is rooting for private-public partnerships to set up dozens of   industrial warehouses with a focus to expand on garment manufacturing.

The management is seeking to utilize 40 hectares of idle land within Athi River zone.

In a developers’ engagement forum held recently in EPZ, the management sought partnerships with private developers to invest in modern warehouses within the zone.

Under rules governing EPZA, an investor can be allocated a maximum of two and half pieces of land to set up a factory within 24 months, a move that is meant to promote local industrialization.

Manufacturers operating under these controlled zones enjoy incentives like a 10-year Corporate Tax Holiday, liberalized foreign exchange regime, 100% investment deduction on new investment as well as perpetual exemption from VAT and customs import duty on inputs among others.

EPZ management said they have received dozens of applications from potential investors for warehouse allocation due to the growth of the apparel market but the existing ones are fully occupied.

“We do not have vacant warehouses to accommodate new investors. We want investors to come onboard and construct industrial warehouses within the zone to spur the much needed growth,” said Ag CEO Benjamin Chesang.

Chesang said the lease letter between the developer and EPZ is acceptable in financial institutions as collateral to obtain loans.

“Once the developer sets up an industrial warehouse, he/she will be awarded a service certificate. The lease is acceptable in financial institutions as collateral to lessen the burden of construction to new investors,’ he said.

He added the risk factor of investing within the zone is minimal compared to that of private industrial warehouses in different locations in the country and that both local and international investors will be treated equally.

The management of EPZ vowed not to tolerate investors who do not develop the lands they have been allocated.

Kenya Revenue Authority officials present assured developers of a raft of measures to ensure that the raw materials imported are not taxed.
Expansion of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is a major economic boost to neighboring Kitengela and Athi River town.

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