THEURI: Smart services that Kenya can export

Kenya boasts top accountants, architects, and legal advisers. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kenya boasts top accountants, architects, and legal advisers. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya has a great potential in exporting business services throughout the world. They include accounting, architecture, financial advisory, and legal services.

Kenya’s ICT revolution gives experts access to millions of people in the international markets.

Increasing exports of especially high value added business services presents a big opportunity to drive economic growth in Kenya while most developing countries tend to export basic services such as back office task or low value off shoring.

Kenya has world-class companies that provide and export quality off-shoring such as product development and transformation services. Such exporters come in all sizes and are found across sectors.

The sub-sectors with the greatest export turnover are insurance, accounting, non bank services and business process outsourcing.

The East African Community (EAC) dominates the export flow of Kenya’s professional services in BPO, ICT, financial advisories and logistics.

The Government can, through its trade support and promotion institutions together with private sector, develop a service export strategy that will address barriers that Kenyan firms face and also facilitate access to foreign markets.

The Export Promotion Council (EPC) can link local experts with other international trade support institutions to create a greater pool of information on business opportunities.

Researching country-to-country profiles for opportunities, assessing the sectors with potential, reviewing rules and regulations, having tax issues and general working conditions at finger tips are some of the steps that will give Kenyans an upper hand in griwing its service export presence.

The EPC should be able to assist individuals and firms with marketing, branding, market research in international trade summits, conferences, expos and through town hall talks.

Should these steps be gotten right, Kenyans would find it easier than today to go into foreign markets.

recently unveiled African Continent Free Trade Area (ACFTA) will allow free movement of goods, labour and investments, increasing business opportunities. This is a huge opportunity that should not catch this country unawares.

The main constrains are widespread lack of knowledge about exporting opportunities.
Government, through its respective departments and State corporations, should facilitate access to foreign markets, which, in turn lead to an increase in employment, growth, and demonstrable development.

The government in its Big Four agenda, exporting manufactured goods is a priority and services will catalyse the process of jobs creation and contribute to GDP growth which in turn bring the much needed development.

Theuri Paul, Economic Analyst