Centum wins in Two Rivers special economic zone step

Two rivers Mall along Limuru road on 13th February 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NMG

Investment firm Centum has received a special economic zone (SEZ) licence covering more than half of its Two Rivers development in Nairobi as it positions itself to ride on the business-friendly rules for SEZ-domiciled firms to attract global service companies.

Centum says it has set aside 64 acres, which is bigger than half of the development’s total area of 106 acres, for the zone to be known as the Two Rivers International Finance and Innovation Centre (Trific).

The zone, the company said, has 150,000 square feet of available Grade A office space in two blocks known as Trific North and Victoria Towers, the Holiday Inn Hotel, and also incorporates its housing projects known as Mizizi, Riverbank, Cascadia and Lofts.

The Two Rivers Mall, however, lies outside of the economic zone, Centum chief executive officer James Mworia told the Business Daily.

“We had already developed the infrastructure, so it was a quick one in our engagement with the government because a lot of work has already been done. The UN is expanding their mission, so ours will complement their diplomatic international zone with a commercial equivalent,” he said.

“With the agreements that have been signed with the EU and what is being negotiated with the US, Kenya is going to be an attractive hub for services, not just to the region but also globally.” He added the company is looking to develop a further 1.2 million square metres within the SEZ, including a convention centre and a five-star hotel.

The SEZ’s targets include Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms, tech companies, financial services companies, professional services providers, accounting firms, NGOs, media and entertainment firms, and hospitality and international law firms looking to set up base in Kenya.

Kenya has been gazetting SEZs as part of plans to create jobs and facilitate export-oriented investments to spur economic growth by 2030.

The SEZs enjoy special taxes and infrastructure to attract firms that would otherwise set up in competing economies.

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