Richard Ngatia, the president of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has been appointed to the World Chambers Federation (WCF) for a two-and-a-half-year term effective January 1, 2023.
Mr Ngatia becomes the first Kenyan to sit on the council of the powerful lobby for trade chambers with his appointment seen as a major boost to local businesses.
Kenya has embarked on an aggressive campaign to open more market opportunities abroad and deepen trade ties with traditional allies.
The lobby draws members from over 100 countries worldwide and only 20 personalities are elected to sit on the WCF council.
"I am delighted to extend my congratulations and confirm your appointment to serve on the WCF General Council as a co-opted member. I look forward to working together in connecting chambers, supporting MSMEs and contributing to our strategy to reinforce our chamber community,” said WFC chairperson Nicolas Uribe.
Appointment to the powerful business lobby for traders comes at a time KNCCI has been pushing for more linkages with countries in Europe and Asia in a bid to open up more markets for Kenyan products and services.
Some of the key economies that KNCCI has targeted to link Kenyan traders with include China, France and South Korea with an emphasis on reducing trade barriers that hamper the movement of local products into these markets.
Mr Ngatia is expected to leverage his position to lobby and influence decisions that will boost Kenyan products and services in international markets.
The Kenyan government has also made Small and Medium Enterprises a key plank of its efforts to create more jobs and grow the economy, yet again bringing to the fore the significance of Mr Ngatia’s new position on the WCF.
WCF said that Mr Ngatia will be part of a core team tasked with linking the global chamber with trade bodies across the world in support of the SME sector.
Mr Ngatia is set to attend the inaugural meeting for the new WFC council on February 28, 2023, which will be held in Bogota, Colombia.