Roundup: Kenya says investment climate resilient despite terror threats

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NAIROBI, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The investment climate in Kenya has weathered jitters linked to the latest terrorist attack at a premier business complex in Nairobi to remain resilient, a senior government official said on Friday.

Monica Juma, cabinet secretary for foreign affairs and international trade, said that local and foreign investors have retained confidence in the Kenyan market despite security threats like crime and terrorism.

"Our attractiveness as an ideal investment destination has not suffered lasting damage as the country shakes off effects of a terrorist attack. The rally at the stock market and consistency in tourist arrivals confirm this economy is very resilient," said Juma.

She spoke in Nairobi during a meeting with business leaders and regulators to discuss policy realignment that is required to enhance competitiveness of Kenyan businesses against a backdrop of creation of a continental free trade area.

Kenya was thrust into the global spotlight on Jan.15 when armed assailants linked to Somalia-based terrorist network al-Shabab attacked a premier business complex in Nairobi where they killed 21 people and injured dozens.

The terrorist attack at 14 River Side Drive located in Nairobi's upmarket Westlands District has caused minimum disruption to economic activities in the country.

Juma downplayed security threats, saying that Kenya is open for investments across key sectors of the economy like manufacturing, financial services and tourism to help realize a transformation agenda.

"We have a strategy to reduce risks to businesses and our private sector will be facilitated to explore the regional and continental market," said Juma.

She noted that Kenya's democratic credentials coupled with friendly regulations and a predictable investment climate have positioned the east African nation as a preferred investment destination.

Nick Nesbitt, chairman of Kenya Private Sector Alliance, said that state interventions are crucial to risk-proof investments required to spur economic growth and job creation in the country.

"Dialogue is key to enhance private sector led growth while cushioning the local investment climate from risks," said Nesbitt.

James Mureu, vice-chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the resilience of local economy in the face of a terrorist attack was a confidence booster to investors. Enditem

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