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The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) said in Nairobi the two-year agreement will see an extension of a financial grant to KAM for supporting its advocacy work in the area of non tariff barriers, standards and counterfeits.

“We are looking into implementing advocacy campaigns, especially related to non-tariff barriers, trade in counterfeits, anomalies in the common external tarrif (CET) and access to trade and market information,” said TMEA Kenya Country Director Chris Kiptoo.

Business24

Kiptoo said the partnership aims to support KAM’s policy and advocacy work as well as engagement with the relevant authorities in a bid to address the challenges facing the industry in the region.

He pointed out that the first phase of the project focused on building and evidence base for advocacy in the key priority areas identified by KAM, which include tax reforms in Kenya, cost of quality compliance, domestic non-tariff barriers affecting industry in Kenya, constitutional issues affecting business, overlapping regulatory roles and the severity of counterfeits.

“TMEA’s keenness to support KAM has carved out a productive space for advocacy and engagement with the necessary sections of the government,” said KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga.

“Our manufacturing sector has remained stagnant at 11 percent of GDP over the past ten years. As a result, the number of formal jobs in manufacturing has grown at just 7 percent per year over the past four years,” she said, adding that the sector’s exports have stagnated at 15 percent of GDP, while imports have grown to 40 percent of GDP creating a trade imbalance.

“These gaps can only be closed by revitalising our industrial sector,” Wakiaga said, adding that KAM is keen in ensuring that global competitiveness is achieved.

KAM Manufacturing Priority Agenda 2014 identified trade hindrances, unfriendly tax regimes and proliferation of counterfeit goods as some of the areas that contribute to the increased cost of doing business and lead to the reduction of regional trade. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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