Strict Japanese foreign trade policies hurting trade with Kenya

Written By: O'Brien Kimani
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Photo/JARED NYATAYA A worker at the Eldoret International Airport parks flowers ready for export, recently.
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Numerous certification processes subjected on imports from Kenya by Japan is hurting trade between the two countries.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer Angela Ndambuki is calling on the two governments to engage in reviewing Japan’s local preference policy which is hindering increase of exports to Japan leading to the widening trade deficit between the two countries.

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Kenya and Japan trade is worth an estimated 90 billion shillings with trade in favor of the far east nation which exported goods worth 80 billion shillings against 6 billion shillings worth of Kenyan export to Japan last year.

The trade deficit according to Kenyan traders is as a result of stringent Japanese foreign trade policies that give preference to locally manufactured goods over imports.

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This coupled with the numerous certification processes and requirements has limited local traders’ access to the Japanese market. Both countries have been urged to consider starting direct flights between the two nations to increase trade volumes.

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Kenyans have been urged to seek partnerships with Japanese traders to exploit the huge horticulture market in Japan while Japanese factories encouraged to set up factories in Kenya to access the regional market.

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So far, a total of 58 Japanese companies are operating in the country up from 28 in 2013.

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