trade protectionism

Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to remove trade restrictions on several products from either country following successful talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli.

The two countries’ foreign ministers –Amina Mohamed of Kenya and Tanzania’s Augustine Mahiga — said in Nairobi on Sunday that the removal of the tariffs take immediate effect.

“Kenya will lift import restrictions on wheat flour and liquefied petroleum gas from Tanzania with immediate effect,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said Tanzania will lift any other restrictions on milk and milk products and cigarettes manufactured in Kenya with immediate effect.

“Kenya and Tanzania will lift any other restrictions that affect products and services exchanged between the two countries,” the two ministers said after a meeting held in Nairobi on Sunday.

Kenyans will however still have to apply for visas when travelling to Tanzania for business, though Mahiga said they were looking into the issue.

“If there are still some bottlenecks, we are pledging to address them to allow our citizens to travel easily,” he said.

The two countries would continue to man border posts jointly while the production of an East African Community (EAC) passport would help ease movement across the states, he said.

The move ended several months of losses for businesses on both sides of the border that had not been able to get access to some of their markets due to the restrictions.

Both Tanzania and Kenya formed a multi-agency committee to be made up of government officials from either side to resolve what CS Mohamed termed ‘important and weighty bilateral issues.’

“The committee will be chaired by the two ministers of Foreign Affairs and will compromise the ministries of EAC, trade, finance, interior, energy, agriculture, transport, tourism and will incorporate other key government agencies as the need arises,” said Mohamed. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/