H.E. President William Ruto recently addressed the American Chamber of Commerce Regional Business Summit, where he spoke about Kenya’s economy and the government’s plans to support business growth in the country.

One of the key themes of the speech was the importance of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to Kenya’s economy. The President noted that SMEs account for 80% of employment in the country and announced the government’s commitment to providing financial support and regulatory reforms to help SMEs grow and succeed. This is a crucial step towards creating more jobs and promoting economic development across the country.

 Here are some of the key highlights from his speech to look out for in the 2023 budget:

– VAT on exported services will be removed in the Finance Bill, in the coming budget, in June 2023.


– The government of Kenya will making a policy shift and effective June 2023, all verified tax refund claims will be payable within six months. If for whatever reason a refund is not made by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) within this period, the taxpayer can offset their claim against future tax liability, without further application to KRA.


– The government will exempt startup companies from paying taxes on such unrealised gains on employee-allocated shares starting 1st July 2023.


– The government will review the Special Economic Zones and Export Processing Zones laws to remove impediments to attracting new local and foreign investments. The raft of amendments are under stakeholder consultations and will be in place by 1st July 2023.

In conclusion, President Ruto’s speech at the American Chamber of Commerce Regional Business Summit highlighted the government’s commitment to supporting business growth and economic development in Kenya. His emphasis on SMEs, infrastructure development, and youth empowerment demonstrate the government’s focus on creating a more inclusive and prosperous economy for all Kenyans.

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