Shenzhen — President Uhuru Kenyatta has encouraged more Kenyan Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange to fund their expansion.
President Kenyatta said increased SMEs activity at the bourse would consolidate Kenya's position as a regional financial hub.
"We are committed to involving the SMEs in our quest to strengthen Nairobi's capacity to meet the East and Central Africa region's demand for financial services," the President said after a visit to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
The President, who is on Friday concluding his highly-acclaimed first State visit to the globe's second largest economy, this week saw Kenya and China sign eight crucial agreements on economic partnerships between the two countries. President Kenyatta noted the impressive progress made by the Shenzhen bourse, saying the same could be replicated in Nairobi.
The President said Government was creating a conducive environment for SMEs to thrive, and the sector was important in growing the economy. He said the legislation and licensing regime governing the SMEs was being reviewed to make it a one-stop-shop that would attract more investment.
"SMEs are the backbone of innovation and are crucial to provision of home-grown solutions to some of the economic challenges facing our country," the President said.
He urged the young people to take advantage of the thriving Information Technology industry in Kenya to start, expand and list SMEs at the NSE.
This, the President said, would go a long way in creating employment.
President Kenyatta observed that the impressive growth of SHZ was driven by unity of purpose, focus, discipline and hard work. He asked Kenyans to embrace the same values in order to succeed in their socio-economic aspirations.
Briefing the President, SHZ Chairman Chen Dongzheng said the second largest bourse in China and 9th in Asia, lists more than 1500 companies.
Chen said the Chinese Government is heavily involved in the stock exchange's operations to ensure its stability.
President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta also toured the Shenzhen Museum, taking in the 30-year transformation of the city from a small border outpost to a modern metropolis.
He said the museum was a fitting legacy to the people of Shenzhen, reminding them of their journey to economic independence, self-reliance and sustainability. The magnificent ultra-modern Southern city of Shenzhen has grown to its present status over a span of 30 years.