By Judith Akolo
Relocation of companies to Uganda and Tanzania coupled with direct importation of goods from source markets has seen Kenyan exports to the two countries reduce.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Phyllis Wakiaga blames this on the high cost of doing business in Kenya.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich says the government is implementing measures to address the challenges to grow the manufacturing sector.
For many years Uganda was the largest export destination for Kenyan goods.
However, this changed after the lifting of trade restrictions within the East Africa that saw Tanzania overtake Uganda in the year 2014.
In recent years, Kenyan exports to both Uganda and Tanzania have been on the decline.
Among the constraining factors is non-tariff barriers especially on agricultural produce, which Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich wants the Kenya Bureau of Standards and KEPHIS to correct.
The launch of the National Trade Policy and the ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement are some of the measures that the government is taking to improve the situation.
Kenya is targeting to double the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy to 20 percent within the next five years.
During the trade week there will be a super sale of locally made goods running on the mantra, Buy Kenya Build Kenya.