8TH APRIL, 2016

Mr. Jaswinder Singh Bedi has been appointed the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Export Promotion Council and; has assumed office with immediate effect.
Mr. Bedi brings to the Kenyan export sector a wealth of experience, being a renowned industrialist in Kenya, a leading exporter, international trade negotiator and operative. His role in Kenya’s economy is rich and has included:

•    Chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).
•    Chairman of the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF).
•    Managing Director of Bedi Investments Ltd.
•    Executive Director of Fine Spinners Ltd.
•    Vice President of International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), and is set to become the President of the Federation in Nov 2016.
•    Vice Chairman, East African Business Council (EABC).
•    Governor of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), and former member of the Export Promotion Council Board of Directors.

His experience spans many years and he has been instrumental in establishing a credible textile VISA system, a requisite that has ensured Kenya’s continuous eligibility under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and specifically his prowess in lobbying the US Congress as the Chairman of African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF), ensured the extension of AGOA for another ten years.
Mr. Bedi, in his inaugural Board meeting yesterday, set out plans to take the performance of Kenya’s exports to the next level. He noted that this would require detailed collaboration and involvement with the stakeholders including the 47 Counties, in the export sector in charting the strategic directions in the medium to long term.

He particularly wishes the Export Promotion Council to be a change-leader in understanding Kenya’s economy from an exporting perspective and in generating strategic streams for preventing perpetual losses of opportunities in the global markets, and generating business opportunities.
The Chairman has undertaken to engage the Export Promotion Council in unlocking the current gridlock in Kenya’s export sector through an assessment of the current situation in this critical sector, identifying the future growth potential in each sector, for contribution to the economy; internal and external environmental factors limiting full performance and infusing the strategic interventions. This can only be achieved through a healthy discourse, consultations with stakeholders in the various export sub-sectors, taking stock of the pain areas, and in making informed intervention measures to ensure enterprises maximize their export potential.

During the same meeting, the new Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade, in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade, Dr. Chris Kiptoo, welcomed the new Chairman and assured him of total support from the Government. He lauded the Board and management of the Council for continuous efforts to serve the export sector with dedication but urged the new Chairman to explore ways of increasing the dynamism of the sector. Dr. Kiptoo, who is the immediate former Kenya Country Director in Trade Mark East Africa, highlighted the critical role a rejuvenated export sector can play in employment and wealth creation, foreign exchange earnings and improving the balance of trade position, among other benefits.

The Board and management welcomed the new Chairman and pledged to serve the export sector with diligence under his able leadership and guidance in ensuring that the Council plays its rightful role in achieving improved export performance as more Kenyan enterprises benefit from opportunities in the global markets.

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