Kenya, Tanzania industrialists kick-off meeting on market access
Kenyan and Tanzanian manufacturers kicked off a three-day meeting on Wednesday to deliberate on trade promotion and market access between the two neighboring countries.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) said the meeting will address the upper band rate of the East African Community (EAC) common external tariff (EAC CET); harmonization of domestic taxes; harmonization of product standards; review of the EAC Rules of Origin; and activation of the dispute settlement mechanism.
Mucai Kunyiha, KAM chairman noted that addressing pertinent issues between Kenya and Tanzania will not only enhance trade between the two nations but also drive the competitiveness of products and services from both countries.
Kunyiha said Kenya and Tanzania have the capability and capacity to add value to the wide array of resources that both countries have for export markets. "However, achieving this is hindered every time the business community encounters impediments to trade, consequently, impacting on the benefits of trade to the entire region," he said in a statement issued in Nairobi. Kunyiha noted that trade devoid of both tariff and non-tariff barriers increases prosperity for all participating nations by allowing consumers to buy more, better-quality products at lower costs.
According to industrialists, food and beverage, edible oils, chemicals, automotive, leather and footwear sectors are some of the manufacturing sectors that shall participate in the trade mission. Paul Makanza, CTI chairman, urged delegates to uphold a rule-based trade relationship as a way to reduce the imposition on non-tariff barriers on cross border trade. Makanza also urged both organizations to fast-track the comprehensive review of the EAC CET as its implementation will be critical in the promotion of domestic capacities and enhancing competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in the region.