Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, the country will be pushing for the abolition of the current scenario in which Kenya?s primary goods are zero-rated while value-added goods are slapped with high tariffs.

?Anytime we export primary goods, it is zero-rated and as soon as we add value, tariffs are added. We want to be able to add value in our own country to create the jobs here at home and not in the countries where these goods are exported to,? said Amina.

Trade ministers

She was speaking on the side-lines of a conference which brought together 26 African trade ministers. The CS said other key issues that will form the core of African and other developing countries? agenda at the upcoming WTO talks will include agriculture, market access for industrial goods, services, public health, trade facilitation, telecoms and cotton for producing and exporting countries.

She lauded the creation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and urged other countries to ratify the pact.

?The TFA will streamline customs processes and reduce the red tape and administrative costs that constrain cross border trade. This will result in increased trade, which is in our interest as a continent,? she noted.

?It is estimated that TFAs will increase global GDP by $1 trillion annually and generate 21 million jobs,? she said. The Doha Development Round or Doha Development Agenda is the current trade-negotiation round of the WTO, which commenced in November 2001, with the aim of reducing trade barriers around the globe.

?This is a new continent. We are demanding our space on the table, and we are making sure that we are heard. You should expect to see a different Africa moving forward. The fact that we have 26 countries here instead of 13 is a signal,? she said.

By Dominic Omondi, The Standard

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