KENYA: US Supermarket Firm JC Penny In Touch With Textile Manufacturers

A leading department store from the United States, JC Penney, is considering opening a purchasing office in Kenya. The company's vice president and director of sourcing, Rodney Birkins, is in the country and has consulted a number of local textile manufacturers.

Mr Birkins said his company was assessing possibilities for the importation of textiles from Kenya under the American Growth and Opportunity Act, which allows duty-free access for African exports to the US.

JC Penney, which has 1,100 supermarkets and 3,000 pharmacies, has a $30 billion (Sh240 billion) turnover a year.

Speaking at a dinner hosted at a Nairobi hotel for Mr Birkins, Vice-President George Saitoti said Agoa had boosted Kenya's textile exports to the US. The exports grew from $30 million (Sh2.4 billion) in 2000 to $150 million (Sh12 billion) by June this year.

Prof Saitoti said Kenya was ideal for foreign investors seeking to trade in East and Central Africa.

He added that Kenya was committed to the New Partnership for African development, adding that it wanted to play a "key role" in the association.

July 31, 2002

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Added: July 31, 2002
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