IMPROVING TRADE

Kenya to boost cross border trade in EAC, says PS

The bloc trading at 15 per cent on which they are looking forward to increase to 60 percent like the European countries.

In Summary

• Desai says promoting business activities is one of the government's key agendas as far as the EAC trade is concerned.

• The PS said there is need to sensitize the traders on the relevant standard cross borders legislation and policies.

EAC PS Kevit Desai trains addresses cross borders youth and women traders in Kwale on Friday, July 16, 2021.
OPTIMISTIC: EAC PS Kevit Desai trains addresses cross borders youth and women traders in Kwale on Friday, July 16, 2021.
Image: SHABAN OMAR

Kenya is seeking to strengthen its relationship with the East African communities to promote intra- and cross-border trade.

EAC Principal Secretary Kevit Desai said Kenya is in the process of building capacity among small-scale cross border traders and creating an enabling business environment across the Kenyan borders.

He said promoting business is one of the government key agendas as far as the EAC trade is concerned.

"The EAC trade has to be equally accessed by all the countries' members and that's why local traders must be empowered and presented with various business opportunities," he said. 

Desai said the East African Community is trading at 15 per cent on which they are looking forward to increase to 60 per cent.

He said the cross-border traders are of great essence to promoting business amongst the EAC member states, if properly facilitated.

He spoke on Friday while opening the training workshop for youth and cross border women traders on EAC regulations and procedures in Diani, Kwale  county. 

At least over 40 Lunga Lunga cross border traders successfully received the training.

The PS said there is need to sensitise the traders on the relevant standard cross borders legislation and policies to help establish strong ties and a good market for the traded commodities.

He said the state is also concentrating on providing crucial information on cross border trade, risk-taking, improving transport routes and security to enhance the amplification of business opportunities.

Desai said they are helping local traders create linkages not only between the public and private business sector but also among themselves for the benefit of the entire EAC bloc.

"We are linking them with various key stakeholders to help in networking because I can only imagine the opportunities that would arise if all farmers across the country connect with cross-border traders, " he said.

Kenya Private Sector Alliance deputy CEO Martha Cheruto urged the traders to do business across the Kenyan borders.

She warned against using illegal routes, which she said encourages the selling and buying of counterfeit goods thus negatively affecting  international trade as well as denying legal traders equal opportunities in engaging in fair trade.

 Cheruto also pointed out that following the right channels will harness cross border trade harassment and provide a window for intervention in case traders are mistreated in foreign countries.

"If we do clean business, the government is there to support you financially, help you access good market and assist when challenges emerge," she said.

EAC PS Kevit Desai, KEPSA deputy CEO among other stakeholders in a group photo at Diani Forest Lodge in Kwale on Friday, July 16, 2021.
UNITY: EAC PS Kevit Desai, KEPSA deputy CEO among other stakeholders in a group photo at Diani Forest Lodge in Kwale on Friday, July 16, 2021.
Image: SHABAN OMAR