NAIROBI, May 18 (Reuters) - Swedish truck maker AB Volvo is to start assembling vehicles in Kenya, part of a series of investments aimed at boosting the company's presence in the region, the company said on Thursday.
The East African nation undermined what was a thriving local assembly industry in the 1990s with policies that encouraged cheap secondhand imports. It is now seeking to attract manufacturers back to help create jobs and support growth.
Volvo is only the latest vehicle maker to announce plans in recent months to start assembling locally, following moves by Volkswagen, PSA Peugeot and CNH Industrial's Iveco.
Volvo will also open an office in Kenya to serve East Africa, open 20 workshops around the region and a parts warehouse, it said in a statement.
The company said it was partnering with local firm NECST in the plan, which will create about 300 direct jobs.
"There is a significant potential for the premium truck business as regional economies grow, infrastructure investments expand and the business environment remains investment friendly," Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks, said in the statement. (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Greg Mahlich)