President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday officially opened MAS Intimates Kenya, a Sri Lankan apparel and textile manufacturer that has employed over 3,000 Kenyans.
Speaking at Athi River in Machakos County during the launch of the factory operating under the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) programme, President Kenyatta said the huge investment is a testament of the decade-long groundwork laid under the manufacturing pillar of the Big 4 Agenda.
“I am pleased that while MAS only begun operations in Kenya in the year 2020, you have already injected over 8.5 million US dollars into our economy, employed over 3,000 Kenyans and shipped garments worth over 24 million US dollars which are affixed with the magical, Made in Kenya tag,” President Kenyatta said.The President pointed out that the expanding infrastructure, world-class human capital and economic policies have significantly improved Kenya’s business index within the community of nations, making the country the most vibrant investment destination in Africa.
He said the entry of the Sri Lankan apparel and textile manufacturer into Kenya has added to Mas Intimates’ global footprint that presently spans across 17 countries in South Asia, North America, South America and Europe.
The President added that choosing Kenya as an investment destination has accorded MAS Intimates Kenya a strategic geographical location, easy access to Eastern and Central Africa.
“In addition, by choosing Kenya, you have access to top tier financial services and information technology capabilities, a strong intellectual property protection landscape and elaborate networks of supporting infrastructure which are being enhanced day-by-day through investments in a modern new railway, road networks and in modern Sea Ports and Airports, fiber optic and under-sea cables and pipelines,” he said.
He assured both local and international companies that the Government is committed to enhancing the growth of the private sector by fostering high value-added manufacturing, promoting the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies and equipping the youth with skill-sets required by a fast-evolving marketplace.
“Indeed, our partnership with Mas Intimates is a good indicator that, as a country, we are on the right path.
“We will also continue to partner with similar industries to create new job opportunities for our people. For example, this new plant will create thousands of new skilled jobs including scientists, engineers, supply chain specialists and technicians,” President Kenyatta said.
Noting that Mas Intimates has projected to increase its current employment numbers to 4,200 by end of this year and a further 7,000 by 2025, the President thanked the company for believing in Kenya’s development agenda.
Industrialization and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said the country has more than Kshs 122 billion worth of investment in EPZs.
“We are very excited about the strides we have made in manufacturing and this is a testament. This is just one of our EPZ zones, there are others around the country. We have more than Kshs 122 billion worth of investments in our EPZs,” CS Maina said.
The CS added that the country’s exports last year stood at more than Kshs 91 billion while employment in the EPZs stood at about 65000 people.
MAS Intimates Kenya Manufacturing Director Chandana Galappathi thanked the Government for creating a conducive environment for investment, saying it has seen his company grow from strength to strength in the last two years.
Mr. Galappathi assured the President that his company is set to create more employment for the country’s youth as it embarks on the implementation of phase two of its expansion programme.