NCCI participated at the Kenya – Tanzania Breakfast Forum that was held at the Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi an event co-hosted in collaboration with the State Department of Trade of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives and the Export Promotion Council (EPC). The event was held as a preparatory meeting to discuss on the trade rows that Kenya and Tanzania have been facing over the years.
The forum was attended by Dr. Chris Kiptoo, the Principal Secretary, State Department for International Trade, as the Chief Guest, H.E. Hon. Dan Kazungu Designate – Kenya High Commissioner to Tanzania, KNCCIs National Chairman, Kiprono Kittony, Export Promotion Council Chief Executive Officer, Peter Biwott among others.
Kenya and Tanzania have had an on-and-off trade disputes despite the two countries belonging to a common market which allows for free movement of goods, people, labor, services and capital within six-member countries.
Kenya largely imports wheat, textiles and clothing, hides and skin, oil seeds, vegetables, rice, paper and paperboard, footwear, wood, plastic and rubber, among other products from Tanzania.
‘’We have been aggressively trying to resolve differences between Kenya & Tanzania and a bilateral meeting between Principal Secretaries is scheduled during Dar es Salaam trade fair to address this,’’ stated Dr. Chris Kiptoo.
In addition, the PS emphasized that Tanzania remains Kenya’s most important neighbor with the volume of trade between the two countries equal to to trade with the EU.
Simmering trade tensions and suspicions between the two countries over tariff and non-tariff barriers has hurt business between the two countries over the years, further thinning sales by Kenyan firms already hit by growth of Tanzania’s manufacturing sector.
As we look at improving trade between Kenya & Tanzania let us look at it from an African continent context” said KNCCI National Chairman Kiprono Kittony. “We need to improve trade between Kenya and Tanzania by improving connections; we should have a ship delivering goods from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa on the same day”. He added.
Also, in attendance during the forum was Rtd. Maj. Gen. Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa – Principal Secretary, State Department of Immigration, Border Control and Registration of Persons who emphasized that Kenya was improving the monitoring of goods between the two countries to especially fight counterfeits.
“Kenya & Tanzania have five functioning border posts, four of which are one stop border posts providing all services from various government agencies along the 770km border”, said Dr. Kihalangwa.
The breakfast forum was a precursor to the upcoming Kenya – Tanzania Export Promotion forum to be held from June 28th to July 13th in Da es Salaam, Tanzania during which Kenya will also be organizing a Trade and Investment forum on the side to be held on the 5th of July, 2018 in Da es Salaam.