EAC predicts 50pc jump in trade between Kenya and Tanzania in a year
BUSINESS: Kenya and Tanzania have started harmonising trade policies with bureau of standards in the respective countries set to help facilitate seemless trade at the borders.
During a meeting held at Namanga one-stop border post yesterday, stakeholders from Kenya and Tanzania said they have identified varying and contradicting policies as the major challenges that have adversely been creating an imbalance trade and tensed business environment.
The new move spearheaded by the East African Community will also aid small-scale business traders to easily trade in the two countries by lifting all the restrictions.
Peter Mathuki, EAC Secretary General said the talks among President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu have borne fruits as diplomats and stakeholders from the two countries are mutually engaging and sorting out business hitches.
“We are optimistic that trade between Kenya and Tanzania will increase by 50 per cent in the next one year.
Currently we are trading at 15 per cent because of the many unresolved challenges but it is a new dawn for traders as policies are now being looked into for harmonization,” he said.
“We want to eliminate double taxation and hidden charges in an effort to significantly reduce the cost of doing business.
That will in return encourage more traders to engage in cross border business, “ added Mathuki.
He said talks are in high gear on matters which require law amendments. Some legislative issues, he added, will require amendment of the law but the organisation is optimistic that the mutual ongoing talks will yield fruits.
“Small-scale traders who have been having myriad challenges that saw them sneak in and out of the country through ‘panya’ routes are among first beneficiaries of these talks as free trade among them is top of our agenda,” Mathuki said.
Tanzania High Commissioner to Kenya John Simbachawene said the renewed bilateral ties between the two countries will set a good precedent to other East Africa states and will improve relations among the two nations.
“The political good will of the two countries is a major milestone on trade. We are more than delighted for the positive change we are experiencing and the significant fruitful end we will have,” he said.
Paul Kamukulu, customs officer at Tanzania Revenue Authority said the standardisation of Covid-19 measures which has been a challenge in the past will boost smooth trader among the two countries.