Tanzania is beginning to mark strides as a major buyer of Kenyan goods making orders worth Sh15.91 billion in the first seven months to July, even before President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit.
Central Bank’ data show that this represents an 11.48 per cent increase compared to Sh14.27 billion value of goods imported in seven months to July 2018.
In 2018, the neighbouring country bought goods worth Sh29.93 billion in items including plastics, iron and steel, machinery, animal and vegetable fats electrical equipment and vehicles among others.
At the time, imports from Tanzania to Kenya were registered at Sh34.52 billion.
Cereals, wastes of the food industry, paper and paper board, beverages, spirits and vinegar are among goods that Kenya imports from Tanzania.
Kenya has been gearing to improve trade with the country whose relations has been tensed over the years due to a high number of tariff and non-tariff barriers.
In 2018, Tanzania imposed a 25 per cent import duty on Kenyan confectionery, including juice, ice cream, chocolate, sweets and chewing gums, claiming Kenya had used zero-rated industrial sugar imports to produce them.
The country still remains opposed to the issuance of work permits to Kenyan nationals looking to work in around its borders.
The trading imbalance in favour of Tanzania is set to reduce if bilateral talks between the nations is anything to go by.
The countries held bilateral meetings in Arusha, in April, to resolve the trade issues and barriers affecting the movement of goods across the borders including rules of origin for some products and persistent suspicion over the quality of products traded across the borders.
At the time, the Trade ministry ad placed recommendations to resolve around 18 no-trade barriers, after managing to clear out 19.
In July, the President visited his Tanzania Counterpart John Pombe Magufuli, in a personal two-day tour with intentions among them to mend the economic ties.
But even so, East African nation Uganda continue to claim the throne as the highest importer buying goods Sh30.59 billion over the period, representing 4.19 per cent increase compared to a similar period in 2018.
Exports to Rwanda made the highest jump by 30.64 per cent to Sh11.18 billion.
Exports to Pakistan declined by 31.4 per cent in the time to Sh25.88 billion. This is subsequent to also a drop in earnings of exports to Pakistan from Sh18.61 billion in2017/2018 financial year to Sh13.05 billion in 2018/2019 financial year.
Exports to the United Arab Emirates also declined by 19.69 per cent to Sh11.00 billion.
The long-standing export destination for Kenya, The United Kingdom’s value of goods bought declined by 3.87 per cent to Sh23.88 billion in the period inclined to UK’s divorce from European Union.
By The Star