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Uganda first expansion destination for Kenyan SMEs

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Guests follow proceedings during the Kenya Top
Guests follow proceedings during the Kenya Top 100 Mid-sized companies’ Survey 2018/19 presentation at Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi on November 22, 2018. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Uganda is the most preferred investment destination by Kenyan small and medium enterprises looking to expand outside the country, a new report says.

The 2018 annual Top 100 survey by Nation Media Group #ticker:NMG and KPMG shows that 78 per cent of local SMEs have opened branches in Uganda, 59 per cent in Tanzania while 41 per cent are in Rwanda.

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The SMEs say that ease of moving goods between Kenya and Uganda, political stability and the mutual support for trade between the two governments are their biggest attractions to the neighbouring country.

A further 61 per cent of the surveyed SMEs expressed willingness to expand into Uganda in the next few years. “From 2009, we have consistently seen that most SMEs are inclined to set up their first operations in Uganda then Tanzania. From an East African perspective, Uganda remains our biggest business partner,” Maurice Gachuhi, senior manager at KPMG Kenya said on Thursday.

Top 100 survey is a joint initiative by Nation Media Group and KPMG that was started in 2007. It seeks to identify and recognise the country’s fastest growing medium-sized companies and celebrate some of the most outstanding entrepreneurs.

Mr Gachuhi spoke when Nation Media Group and KPMG held a pre-awards conference in Nairobi on Thursday ahead of the 11th gala dinner of the Top 100 contestants set for Friday.

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