Kenya’s imports from Tanzania doubled in 6 months, owing to the two neighboring nations’ robust commercial ties.
Kenya’s imports from Tanzania more than quadrupled to Ksh20.5 billion ($182.6 million) in the first half of the year, owing to the two neighboring nations’ robust commercial ties.
According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Tanzanian imports increased from Ksh10.8 billion ($96.2 million) in the same time the previous year.
The value of products sold to Tanzania increased to Ksh17.8 billion ($158.6 million) from Ksh14 billion ($124.7 million), although the trade balance remained in Tanzania’s favor.
Kenya and Tanzania have just patched up their disputes on commercial concerns, which had previously hampered the flow of commodities.
With the election of Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the two nations’ commercial ties have improved, with most non-tariff obstacles removed.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart, Ms Suluhu, agreed in early May to address the six-nation EAC bloc’s long-standing tense commercial ties, which have hampered the free movement of products and services.
The decision was reached at a meeting of the Joint Commission on Cooperation (JCC), a bilateral body comprised of officials from both countries formed to settle problems impacting areas of cooperation.
JCC found 60 tariff and non-tariff obstacles between Tanzania and Kenya in June, a month following Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu’s State visit to Kenya.
Among the issues handled are customs clearance of soft drinks manufactured in respective territories and the elimination of inspection costs on processed items bearing a standardisation mark.
Kenya agreed to provide cement from Tanzania priority access to its market, in exchange for Tanzania allowing Kenyan juices and wheat flour to be exported without hindrances at the border.
So far, the two nations have dealt with 64 trade-related problems, 30 of which have been addressed and decisions taken on how to resolve the other 34.
The Tanzanian president’s visit to Nairobi, which included the signing of an agreement to develop a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa, triggered a series of collaborative trade discussions aimed at lowering trade obstacles.