Kenya: President Ruto Says Kenya to Increase Trade Volume With Tanzania

Nairobi — President William Ruto has pledged to increase the trade volume with Tanzania so as to foster strong bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries.

President Ruto stated that the two nations will be working to double trade from the current Sh90 billion so as ensure the trade and investors benefit from the relations.

Kenya’s trade with Tanzania has grown steadily in the past years in the wake of improved relations between the two countries after years of feuds that at one point resulted in retaliatory measures such as trade bans.

“It’s now clear with all of us that increase in trade benefit everybody and I have come to underwrite that the increase in trade is where we want to go. We want to double trade which is do able,” said President Ruto during his maiden visit in Tanzania as President.

The Head of State mentioned that Trade Cabinet Secretaries between the two nations alongside other officials will be having a meeting to iron out fourteen trade barriers that have stifled operations between the two states.

President Ruto outlined that the remaining barriers have locked trade between the two nations in the East Africa region.

“The remaining fourteen or so barriers identified we should by December this year we should have concluded so as to allow our people to trade so that we can allow our people and investors to benefit,” said President Ruto.

Sentiments that were echoed by his Tanzanian Counterpart Samia Suluhu who mentioned that there is need to unlock trade between the nations with the aim of averting poverty and spurring economic growth.

“In total our experts identified 68 barriers which were reviewed and 54 non tariff barriers were removed and now we want our cabinet secretaries to deal with the remaining 14 so as to ensure there is freewill to trade,” said President Suluhu.

The meeting is scheduled to be as soon after Trade and Industrialization nominee Moses Kuria is vetted and approved by the National Assembly.

Of the six nations that make up the EAC, Kenya is the largest investor in Tanzania and the fifth largest on the continent.

Statistics by the Central Bank of Kenya showed the country’s exports to Tanzania jumped the highest by 46 per cent to Sh28.66 billion extending a good trade run between the pair amid ongoing elimination of non-tariff barriers.

Data by the KNBS shows that the value of Kenya’s exports to Tanzania jumped 43.39 percent to Sh45.6 billion in 2021 compared to the previous year.

Tanzania’s exports to Kenya on the other hand grew 95.3 percent last year nearly double-to Ksh54.47 billion last year.

Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart, Samia Suluhu ended persistent strained trade ties between the two largest economies in the six-nation EAC bloc which have, for years, hindered the smooth flow of goods and services.

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