By Monica Muema
The board of directors of the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) has lauded the efforts by Tatu City to set up Kenya’s first ever “One-Stop Shop” facility at the 5,000-acre new city.
The One-Stop Shop intends to coordinate the activities of various government entities and private service providers for applications for permits, approvals, and licenses within the Tatu City Special Economic Zone.
The board, led by Dr Meshack Kimeu, SEZA’s Acting CEO, commended Tatu City as the country’s first operational SEZ, responsible for catalysing more than KES 130 billion of local, regional and international investment in Kenya.
“The Tatu City One-Stop Shop is intended to be a primary way in which the SEZs benefit both the nation and businesses by complementing tax incentives, thus improving the ease of doing business,” said Dr Kimeu.
“As a result, one-stop shops are critical to the main value an SEZ offers from a public policy perspective – they are opportunities for innovation in governance.”
The private sector SEZ pioneer in Kenya, Tatu City recently partnered with Konza Technopolis, a public SEZ, to establish the Association of Special Economic Zones of Kenya, which aims to further economic zone development and operationalisation.
Stephen Jennings, Founder and CEO of Rendeavour, Tatu City’s owner and developer, said: “The Tatu City SEZ One-Stop Shop removes barriers in the Kenyan business environment by developing innovations in regulatory administration that make it much easier to start and operate a business.
We anticipate that Tatu City SEZ’s pioneering one-stop shop will catalyze improvements to the ease of doing business throughout the country.”
Dr Kimeu also commended Tatu City for its rapid operationalisation of the country’s first SEZ One-Stop Shop. “Tatu City SEZ and SEZA have worked closely on the implementation of the one-stop shop, which we believe is a benchmark for business-centric government services and another driver of Kenya’s rapid rise on ease of doing business rankings globally.”
Established in 2015 by an Act of Parliament (Special Economic Zones Act No. 16 of 2015), SEZA’s core objectives are to provide for the establishment of SEZs in Kenya, to promote and facilitate business for global and local investors and to create an enabling environment for investments in the country.
Kenya’s SEZs offer registered SEZ enterprises 10% corporate tax for 10 years (and 15% for the subsequent 10 years), import duty exemptions and zero-rated VAT, among other business-friendly benefits.
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