Kenya – Ethiopia Meet to Enhance Bilateral Trade Ties

Special Status Agreement (SSA) Objectives Key to Business Communities

The Business Community in Kenya, led by Kenya Association of Manufacturers have today lauded Kenya’s and Ethiopia’s efforts in enhancing their relationship towards the realization of the objectives of the Special Status Agreement (SSA) for both countries.

Speaking at the Kenya-Ethiopia Business Forum, KAM Vice Chairlady, Ms. Flora Mutahi stated that trade between the two countries has been increasing leading to more business opportunities to be explored. “Total trade between Kenya and Ethiopia has increased from Kshs.2.2 billion in 2004 to about Kshs.7.4 billion in 2014. We acknowledge the interest of the two Governments to work more closely and strengthen our economic and commercial ties,” Ms. Mutahi added.

Kenya and Ethiopia are among Africa’s leading Countries in terms of economic growth rates. While Kenya’s economy has attained middle income status and currently growing at 5.6 per cent, Ethiopia economy grew by 11 per cent in 2015.

Speaking at the forum, President Uhuru Kenyatta stated that the business community has a role in driven Kenya’s economy both within the country. “The strategic power of commerce has the ability to catalyse peace in our states. We will actively engage with you because the private sector drives the economy of any nation. Kenya and Ethiopia need to complement each other to compete with the world.”

Both Kenya and Ethiopia are endowed with vast natural resources, productive citizenry, huge industrial base and capability, growing agricultural sector and a large market potential of nearly 145 million people. In addition, we are both members of the Tripartite Free Trade area (TFTA), with a market potential of about 650 million people.

Federal democratic Republic of Ethiopia Prime Minister, H. E. Hailemariam Desalegn reiterated President’s Kenyatta stating that Kenya Ethiopia Business ties will increase both countries competitiveness in the world. “We all need to get our business links to the level we desire. Kenya is one of the growing dynamic place in Africa. We are keen to partner with Kenya especially for their transit corridor and logistics. We do admit the actioning of the Special Status Agreement has been slow but we are ready to remedy this to ease the cost of doing business.”

“As the Association of Manufacturers’ we are also cognizant of the two countries’ shared vision of spurring economic growth through industrialization. Kenya through Vision 2030 and Kenya Industrial Transformation programme aspires to increase the share of manufacturing from the current 10.3 per cent to 15 per cent of GDP by 2030 through increase of the manufacturing sector annual growth from 3.5 per cent to over 10 per cent. On the other hand, Ethiopia through the Second Growth and Transformation Plan 2015-2020, aims to grow industry share of GDP from 15.6 per cent in 2015 to 22.8 per cent in 2020,” added KAM Vice Chairlady Ms. Flora Mutahi.

The areas of interest in Kenya – Ethiopia to the business community are provided for in the SSA articles 2 to 6. The SSA provides for the enhancement of trade, investments, infrastructure development, food security and sustainable livelihoods.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers and the business community as a whole, appreciate the opportunity from the Government of Kenya to contribute to the development of SSA and also engagements towards its implementation. This ensured that we gave utmost attention to solving the challenges both countries face in doing business with one another.

KAM Vice Chairlady, Ms. Flora Mutahi “The Business Community in kenya is pleased to note the strong interest and support offered by the Ethiopian business community towards achievement of the Special Status Agreement. These presents’ enormous opportunities that can be harnessed to accelerate the industrial revolution between the two Countries, create wealth and employment opportunities for our people.”

Kenya Association of Manufacturers is pleased with the progress of the development of the Standard Gauge Railway and the initial works on the Lamu Port and Lamu Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Corridor (LAPSSET) and look forward to its speedy implementation so that the business community of the two countries can be opened up to more trade and investment.

Kenya exports to Ethiopia, in part, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, made up textile materials, aluminum, medicaments, household equipment of base metals among other manufactured products. On the other hand, Ethiopia exports to Kenya, in part, vegetables, spices, oil seeds, lime, cement, and fabricated construction materials, cereals, and crude vegetable oils.

Kenya – Ethiopia Business forum was organised by KAM in partnership with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and KEPSA.

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