NAIROBI, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese manufacturing firm, KEDA Ceramics, said Monday it will expand its tiles operations in Kenya and create more employment opportunities for the locals.
Ryan Chen, administrative manager at KEDA Ceramics, said the company's move to get into phase three of operations in the country will cement its position as the largest manufacturer of tiles both in Kenya and the East African region.
Chen said it is the perfect time to invest in Kenya, especially with President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda of manufacturing, food security, affordable housing and universal access to healthcare.
"Foreign direct investments are important in the realization of this initiative and we are playing our part in this regard," he said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
According to Chen, phases one and two in which they created 1,200 jobs directly and more than 1,500 others indirectly, have seen the company invest over 55 million U.S. dollars in a manufacturing plant for tiles that target the middle and lower end of the Kenyan market.
With the plans to operationalize phase three sometime next year, the company will directly create 500 more jobs, added Chen.
He said phase three, which is projected to begin towards the end of 2019, will see the manufacturer investing another 25 million dollars, making it a total of 80 million dollars investment in the country.
Chen said the east African nation's economic market in the region and its strategic position has made it an attractive investment destination for the company.
This bearing, he said, was also an important consideration that aligns with the Belt and Road Initiative.
"Kenya is strategically placed along the route for the Belt and Road Initiative. We therefore not only want to bring our products and technologies to the country but we also want to create jobs and transfer skills and expertise to the Kenyan people and the Kenyan market," Chen added.
"We are currently manufacturing mainly 300mm by 300mm and 400mm by 400mm size tiles and we hope to produce bigger size tiles such as 500mm by 500mm and 600mm by 600mm in phase three," Chen pointed out.
The company hopes to leverage on the continued rise in demand for tiles in the local market to transition into the third phase.
"Our advanced technology has ensured we produce high quality tiles across the four brands we produce," he added.