Japanese conglomerate Toyota Tsusho Corporation has established a regional headquarters in Nairobi, joining other multinational companies already operating in the regional hub, such as America's General Electric and PepsiCo, and Chinese truck manufacturing firm Beiqi Foton.
The opening of the Toyota Tsusho office – which will seek out investment opportunities in the energy, oil, agricultural and health sectors – follows the multinational's recent acquisition of its rival CFAO, one of the largest distributors of pharmaceutical products and services in Kenya and other African markets including former French colonies.
The take-over has strengthened Toyota's grip on the regional automotive business and offers the chance of expansion into other areas such as pharmaceutical distribution. However the firm already has substantial interests locally, such as the new vehicle dealership Toyota Kenya; the used car dealership Toyotsu Auto Mart; and its involvement at Olkaria IV, part of the massive Olkaria geothermal plants in Kenya's Great Rift Valley.
Meanwhile Nairobi saw another foreign investment on 7 February when the Danish BoConcept furniture retailer was opened at the ABC place by the Denmark's ambassador to Kenya, Geert Aagaard Andersen.
Nairobi is a key player in the East African Community (EAC) whose common market of 130-million people is becoming increasingly attractive to investors.