Gov’t to negotiate for low tariffs with partners

Written By: Brian Itava

The government is negotiating with other countries for lower tariffs for Kenyan goods in efforts to boost exports and narrow the trade imbalance.

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Trade Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo says imports are three times Kenya’s exports because of low production and limited value addition which denies exporters premium prices in the international markets.

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Kenya exported goods worth 541.5 billion shillings in 2018 against imports of 1.7 trillion shillings.

More than 70 percent of Kenya’s commodities are exported to less than 10 countries namely Pakistan, the US, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, the UAE and Rwanda.

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Most of the exports are agricultural produce such as tea, cut flowers, coffee, tobacco, apparel and clothing accessories.

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The low export volumes is blamed on inter-border trade barriers which Trade Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo is being addressed through negotiations with other countries to lower tariffs on Kenyan goods.

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To boost exports, the government plans to establish an export delivery unit as well as attract investors to set up manufacturing companies and value addition facilities.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago decried low allocation of resources to counties despite devolvement of agriculture and other functions.


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