The Star (Nairobi)

5 March 2013

Kenya: China, India Emerging As Kenya's Key Trade Destinations

Photo: IRIN
Firms with links to China are said to be more profitable, according to a new research (file photo).

KENYAN firms with links to China and BRIC countries are better positioned to grow their revenues than their counterparts according to a new survey by international firm Regus.

Regus, which provides workspaces for firms globally said in its report that 50 per cent of firms in the world that export services or products increased profits over the last one year compared with 38 per cent that only traded domestically.

"Our report not only spotlights the advantages of export orientation for Kenyan companies, it also highlights exporter concerns," commented Regus' area Director East Africa & Zambia Peter Vieira.

"These include worries about property and paperwork, an issue raised by 44 per cent of respondents and the challenge of building an image abroad, a concern for 42 per cent of respondents while risk management is an issue for 63 per cent."

Regus polled 20,000 senior business managers in over 90 countries.The survey noted that Kenya's launch of an export plan in June 2012 that seeks to narrow trade deficit by increasing exports has strengthened the country's export position.

The plan seeks to increase exports of processed goods from Kenya to other African countries and emerging economies.

As per the survey which was conducted last September, 59 per cent of companies that export said their revenues had risen compared with 37 per cent whose business was concentrated in domestic markets.

The survey also found that much as China is known for being a large exporter of goods to other countries in the world, most businesses also exported a lot of their goods to that country making the country the most popular market for the traders.

Out of those polled in the survey, 48 per cent said they exported to China, 41 per cent to Europe, North America 36 per cent and 31 per cent each to India and South America.

Regus said companies can benefit from export markets without having to invest in brick and mortar presence in target countries.

"Regus products like virtual office and Businessworld bestow great agility and enable clients to gradually build critical mass and rightsize their operations in specific markets," said Vieira.

He said such solutions mitigate risks faced by many new entrants in export markets of their choice.

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