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UK aims to be Africa’s biggest foreign investor

by LLB Reporter
4th Jan 19 9:14 am

UK firms are taking advantage of new investment opportunities across Kenya as UK exports continue to grow. In the year to June 2018, UK exports to Kenya accounted for £655m – a 1.4% increase from the previous year, of which £318m (48.5%) were services.

Among firms newly exporting to Kenya is Yorkshire-based management consultancy Agencia, which will advise on financial investigations and corporate governance work in the African nation.

The company, which counts international governing bodies and the NHS among its clients, is establishing a permanent base in the country with plans for further expansion.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “As the UK looks at trade opportunities in a post-Brexit world, we are continuing to build on strong trade foundations to capitalise on untapped global potential for UK firms. 

“My international economic department is helping to build mutually beneficial partnerships to stimulate long-term transformational growth across Kenya, and Agencia is a strong example of a business using exporting to grow its business to become more profitable and resilient.” 

Helen Gibson, Managing Director of Agencia, said: “Without the support from DIT, we wouldn’t have achieved such strong global success.

“We’ve made it part of the business strategy to diversify our customer base and target new overseas markets. DIT helped us to fully understand these marketplaces, introduce us to potential clients and overcome barriers such as language and legal requirements. 

“We’re lucky that as an agency we cover a wide variety of sectors from security to forensic medicine. However, it’s thanks to DIT advising us on the best ways to approach the markets that we’ve been able to secure contracts and win business.

“Targeting East Africa is now our next priority, particularly the healthcare sector. We will continue to work closely with DIT to ensure we’re ticking all the boxes in terms of legal and taxation requirements.  We’re excited to continue growing the business with exporting playing a huge part in our future.”

In 2003, Agencia began exporting its services when it secured a contract advising on a legal case in Croatia, working with the government on its EU accession process. The company has also worked across Eastern Europe, advising governments and businesses in Moldova, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Following that success, the business approached the Department for International Trade (DIT) to help it implement a full export strategy that would allow it to maximise opportunities overseas.

DIT has helped the business enter new overseas markets by arranging meetings with potential clients, as well as taking the business on trade missions to Africa.

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