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Kenya, Tanzania Trade Cabinet Secretaries meet to address Key Barriers

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Kenya and Tanzania have moved closer to addressing key trade barriers as they also seek to explore new opportunities that are yet to be exploited.

The discussions are being spearheaded by Trade Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano who will from tomorrow in Kisumu County host her Tanzania counterpart Dr Ashatu Kijaji.

According to Miano, the visit by Kijaji will be timely as the two nations will also be seeking to revive trade programs that have stalled in the past.

“We are extremely grateful that for the next few days, we will be hosting our Tanzania counterparts in the trade sector. The meeting will seek to strengthen our ties and friendship as neighbors,” said Miano.

The trade boss said the meeting will also culminate with the signing of a communique.

“On Friday we will also tour Kisumu where we will interact with traders where they will explain to us their problems and give suggestions where we can improve,’ she said.

The visit by Dr Kijaji comes barely two years after President William Ruto while on a visit to Tanzania stated that the two nations will be working to double trade from the current Sh90 billion so as ensure the trade and investors benefit from the relations.

Kenya’s trade with Tanzania has grown steadily in the past years in the wake of improved relations between the two countries after years of feuds that at one point resulted in retaliatory measures such as trade bans. 

The Head of State mentioned that Trade Cabinet Secretaries between the two nations alongside other officials will be having a meeting to iron out fourteen trade barriers that have stifled operations between the two states.

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President Ruto outlined that the remaining barriers have locked trade between the two nations in the East Africa region.

“The remaining fourteen or so barriers identified we should by December this year we should have concluded to allow our people to trade so that we can allow our people and investors to benefit.” President Ruto said.

Of the six nations that make up the EAC, Kenya is the largest investor in Tanzania and the fifth largest on the continent. 

Statistics by the Central Bank of Kenya showed the country’s exports to Tanzania jumped the highest by 46 per cent to Sh28.66 billion extending a good trade run between the pair amid the ongoing elimination of non-tariff barriers. 

Data by the KNBS shows that the value of Kenya’s exports to Tanzania jumped 43.39 percent to Sh45.6 billion in 2021 compared to the previous year. 

Tanzania’s exports to Kenya on the other hand grew 95.3 percent last year nearly double to Ksh54.47 billion.

Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart, Samia Suluhu ended persistent strained trade ties between the two largest economies in the six-nation EAC bloc which have, for years, hindered the smooth flow of goods and services.

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