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Acquisition international September 2013 (ace)

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New Rising Stars : Kenya an Article in The Acquisition International Magazine on Kenya's Economic prospects and Investment opportunities.by CPA Mohamed Ebrahim MBA (Manchester), FCFIP, ACMA, CGMA, FFA, FCT, Partner Ace Associates - Certified Public Accountants - A member firm of McMillan Woods Global, Director in Ace Consultants Limited, Ace Financial Advisory Limited, Ace Taxation Services Limited,

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Acquisition international September 2013 (ace)

  1. 1. ACQUISITION INTERNATIONAL September 2013 / 27 SECTOR SPOTLIGHT: The New Rising Stars: Kenya The New Rising Stars: Kenya welcome foreign direct investment, and tax incentives to attract value added manufacturing industries. In terms of the sectors in which opportunities for investors lie, Mr Ebrahim suggested: transportation to and from resource find areas; supply and services to natural resource companies; bulk active pharmaceuticals; petro-chemical industry as a user of by products from oil refining; fertiliser making for the East African Region; and commercial fish processing and fishing in Kenya’s long coastline’s exclusive economic zone. He also highlighted the processing of traditional agri-exports like value added packaged tea and coffee as part of Special Economic Zones, noting its “phenomenal tax incentives like 10 year tax break, no import duty and VAT on imports”, as well as the commercialisation of agriculture to produce food and process the crop to feed the growing population of Kenya and the East African Community - a market of nearly 100 million people. As Kenya becomes more established in terms of foreign direct investment, the country faces a number of challenges. One such challenge raised by Mr Ebrahim is overcoming the country’s reputation for post-election disputes and the political uncertainty it creates each year in the run-up to the general election and at least one year after, noting that losing presidential candidates are not willing to accept poll results leading to polarisation of the people. “The politicians have to mature to keep the interests of the nation before their individual interests, the people have to learn to vote based on merit rather than ethnicity and the business community to have confidence that the people of Kenya will not let their country descend into a civil war irrespective of periodic political rubble rousing,” he explained. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ CPA Mohamed Ebrahim is a Partner at Ace Associates - Certified Public Accountants and Director of Ace Financial Advisory Limited., Ace Consultants Limited and Ace Taxation Services Limited ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ahmed M.Y. Salyani & Associates was formed in 2003 by CPA Ahmed Salyani, as a sole practitioner. In 2011 he turned it into a partnership and rebranded the Group as Ace. Currently, the partners are CPA Ahmed Salyani ACCA, CFIP and CPA Mohamed Ebrahim MBA (Manchester), CGMA, ACMA, CFIP, FCT, with the following firm namely Ace Associates- Certified Public Accountants (Audit services) and at the same time set up Ace Consultants Limited (accountancy support services, Internal Audit and Risk consulting services), Ace Taxation Services Limited (Tax compliance, and advisory services), Ace Financial advisory Limited (Corporate Finance and Wealth Management) and ACE Secretaries and Registrars (company secretarial services) to offer specialised services to businesses. From 1st January 2013 Ace Associates – Certified Public Accountants joined the McMillan Woods Global network and was rebranded as McMillan Woods Ace Certified Public Accountants. Mr Ebrahim commented: “The partners have combined experience of nearly 40 years, gained in Big 4 firms, and major mid-tier firms, mainly in Kenya but with stints in Dubai (UAE) and Calgary (Canada), hence we are able to integrate skills and knowledge, in Kenya with a global flavour, personalised services available in Big 4 firms to the SME and emerging industries.” According to Mr Ebrahim, the current business environment in Kenya is positive and the government elected in the recent March 2013 elections is pro-business, supporting a balance of corporate investments and development of a locally owned SME sector. This is achieved through initiatives like the Youth Fund and Constituency Women’s Enterprise Fund. “They are also committed to the Vision 2030 programme which intends to transform Kenya into a middle income country by 2030,” he added. “The key to this will be how the international business community take up the Special Economic Zones and its tax advantages.” Mr Ebrahim attributed the country’s impressive growth to its pro-business environment, recent resource finds of Oil & Gas and other natural minerals, investment by the government in infrastructure (physical and financial) and Kenya’s Education system which produces skilled manpower. “In my opinion the skilled workforce in Kenya is more important than any natural resource find, as in a knowledge economy ideas rule and are the source of sustainable growth and wealth,” he elaborated. Commenting on the benefits of investing in a new “rising star” location such as Kenya, as opposed to the traditionally favoured BRIC nations, Mr Ebrahim noted the lower entry barriers, governments that are eager to Company: Ace Associates - Certified Public Accountants and Ace Financial Advisory Ltd Name: CPA Mohamed Ebrahim Email: mebrahim@acegroup.co.ke Web: www.acegroup.co.ke Mombasa Address: Ace Group, Narok Road, off Jomo Kenyatta Avenue, PO Box 16916-80100, Mombasa, Kenya Nairobi Address: KMA Centre 7th Floor offices 2 & 3, Mara Road Upper Hill, Nairobi, Kenya Telephone: +254 41 2491515, +254 707 688699 Mobile +254 706 869892 The Special Economic Zones bill 2012 will be passed into law this year and Mr Ebrahim believes that this will set the stage to make Kenya a middle income country and focus on investment outside the Capital Nairobi, which due to its unsustainable increase on property prices has out priced itself in value creation. “The investment focus will be in Mombasa and its environs which is also close to the area’s where natural resources have found and is one of the area’s where Special Economic Zones are to be set-up, plus its historic advantage of being East Africa’s biggest port City,” he predicted. “Kenya also has a dynamic Stock exchange, a well regulated banking sector, a flourishing tourism and hospitality sector and enterprising people. We are poised for awesome growth - Welcome to Kenya” Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya

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