Ruto in an address to Silicon Valley investors in the US claims his tax measures have created the ease of doing business in Kenya.
President William Ruto has praised his government’s tax policies, claiming that they have made it easier for investors to do business and have led to a surge in market activity.
The President while speaking on Friday during his visit to Silicon Valley in San Francisco, where he met tech leaders of Microsoft, Intel, Google, and Apple highlighted Kenya’s steps to eliminate Value Added Tax (VAT) on exported services, the tax on stock-based compensation for employees of start-ups, and the domestic equity requirement for ICT companies.
He praised Kenya’s business-friendly atmosphere and described the tax policy as straightforward, uniform, fair, and predictable.
“We are committed to aligning our institutional framework for data protection with the global regime in the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules framework,” Ruto stated.
Ruto underscored the commitment to the re-engineering of Kenya’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Export Processing Zones (EPZ), with the intention of making them the most competitive in Africa.
By eliminating the procedures and rules that are designed to impede investment, he said, the strategic goal is to hasten the flow of foreign direct investment.
“We are further clarifying and rationalizing the land regime to make access to land in the SEZ and EPZ expeditious.
“By the end of the year, we shall have reviewed the entire policy and institutional framework governing SEZ and EPZ to align them with our objective of mobilizing a stronger FDI performance,” he reiterated.
Additionally, Ruto said that Kenya is the gateway to the East African Community – with a regional market of 500 million and a Pan-African market of 1.4 billion.
“If you build it in Kenya, it works for Africa and if you set up in Kenya, your African footprint is guaranteed. Our country is not only a thriving economy of the hardest workers you can find anywhere, it is also a scenic extravaganza of spectacular geography and a thrilling theatre of rare wildlife in majestic action,” he added.
The Kenya-Kwanza government has been reviewing tax measures in the country in a bid to collect more revenue – a move that has been hailed by foreign markets including the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u has introduced plans to prevent the zero-rating of VAT on the supply of goods such as medicaments, agricultural pest control products, and animal feeds, cooking gas, and maize flour.
The proposed reviews are essentially set to raise the cost of the commodities in the country.