Kenyan Investors Urge Ethiopia To Lift Trade Hurdles

Kenyan Investors Urge Ethiopia To Lift Trade Hurdles

From the Standard

Kenyan traders have urged the Ethiopian government to remove bottlenecks hindering growth in bilateral trade between the two countries.

Through their lobby, the Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM), traders urged the Ethiopia to fast-track investment opportunities .

“The transit pact will allow the movement of transit cargo and goods across the border at Moyale,” KAM chief executive officer Betty Maina Maina said in a statement after a three-day visit to Ethiopia.

The Kenyan delegation was led by Cabinet Secretary for East African Community, Tourism and Commerce Phyllis Kandie. Maina added that members of the delegation requested Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to fast track investments by allowing Kenyan banks and retailers to operate in the country.

This includes improving capacity building and signing the Comesa Free Trade Area protocol to which the country is not yet a signatory. But Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn called for a quick ratification and development of the protocols for the implementation of the Special Status Agreement (SSA) signed last year.

“I still feel the devil is in the details and there is need to work on the specific details with our private sector and our respective governments,” he said.

Desalegn promised to look into the question of allowing Kenyan owned banks to operate in the country. The pact is yet to be ratified by the Kenya and Ethiopian parliaments. KAM also requested the country to tackle foreign currency shortage, which affects the growth of the manufacturing sector. Kenya remains one of Ethiopia’s largest trading partners in Africa. Statistics indicate that in 2010, Kenya’s exports reached $43 million against imports of $2.4 million.

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