Parliament wants trade deficit between Kenya, other countries bridged

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The National Assembly wants the government to urgently put in place measures to bridge the trade deficit between Kenya and other countries.

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According to a motion presented before the house by Sirisia Member of Parliament John Walukhe, Kenya’s trade deficit has been on the increase in the past few years with the 2016/2017 financial year deficit being estimated at 1.1 trillion shillings.

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He noted that the deficit is mainly attributable to the exports worth Kshs. 594 billion against imports amounting to Kshs. 1.7 trillion, driven mainly by the more than doubling of food and machinery imports.

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The widening deficit according to Walukhe continues to pile pressure on the shilling against other global currencies forcing the Central Bank of Kenya to intervene, depleting foreign exchange reserves even as the country continues to incur foreign debts.

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Among measures that he has proposed to deal with the matter include providing incentives to potential investors and farmers, supporting local production through promotion and protection of local industries as well as implementing competitive export promotion strategies.

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