Kenya’s imports from Tanzania exceeded exports by almost a third in nine months to September 2021, new official statistics show, suggesting a thawing of trade relations in Dar es Salaam following regime change.
Nairobi recorded one Goods trade deficit of $ 80.16 million, or 29.97 percent, with Dar es Salaam – the first during the reporting period according to publicly available data – after traders doubled orders from its southern neighbor.
The imports from Tanzania rose to $ 396 million in January-September 2021 from $ 347.6 million a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
Kenyan dealers and factories primarily source Grain, wood, edible vegetables, animal feed, and paper and cardboard from Tanzania.
The 101.76% increase in the value of goods purchased in Tanzania resulted in exports growing by 34.81% to 267.47 million $ in the shade, which led to the previously rare deficit in goods trade during this period.
Kenya’s exports to Its partners in the East African Community include pharmaceutical products, plastics, iron and steel.
“There are many positive vibes within the EAC that are evolving and we want to build on that to bring back the earlier EAC. For example, relations between Kenya and Tanzania are much better, “Adan Mohamed, cabinet secretary for EAC affairs, told our sister magazine Business Daily in September.
” Ultimately, as a government, we are trying to make sure the environment is there suitable for the private sector to do business. ”
Samia’s first high point
The surge in trade flows between the two countries was based on a commitment between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterpart, Samia Suluhu in early May to end the ongoing trade disputes between the EAC’s two largest economies.
President Samia made Nairobi her first stop to strengthen trade relations with EAC partners.
< During her visit, she made it clear that her priority was to end the unresolved tense trade relations between the countries, which over the years have had smooth goods and services Services.
The KNBS data shows that the gap between imports and exports has widened since the beginning of the year in favor of Tanzania. The deficit in goods trade was $ 10.86 million in the first quarter, $ 16.12 million in the second, and nearly $ 53.17 million (July – September).
Tanzania is the only country in the six-nation EAC trade bloc to have a surplus with Kenya during the reporting period, according to preliminary data.
Kenya had a trade surplus of $ 313.73 million and $ 145.57 million, respectively US dollars with Uganda and Rwanda.
A continued growing trade deficit will mean that Nairobi is exporting jobs to Dar es Salaam.
The meeting formed in Nairobi the prelude to a series of joint trade meetings aimed at removing obstacles to the flow of goods.
Trade Minister Betty Maina and her Tanzanian counterpart Prof. Kitila Mkumbo led delegations to a four-day meeting in Arusha – the seat of the EAC- Secretariat – weeks after the two presidents met s met in Nairobi to deal with unresolved trade disputes.
This was followed by a three-day investment forum for manufacturers from both countries in Dar es Salaam on July 7th, where the Kenyan Manufacturers Association and the Association of Tanzanian Industries decided together to encourage the authorities to remove crippling non-tariff trade barriers.
“Kenya and Tanzania have the skills and capacities to enhance the wide range of resources that both countries have for export markets,” said KAM- Chairman Mucai Kunyiha the forum.
“However, this is hindered every time the business world encounters barriers to trade, consequently the benefits of trade for the entire [EAC] region.”
The Kenyan manufacturers had protested in the last few years against “discriminatory” tariffs and non-tariff barriers, such as making supplies such as meat, milk and their products to Tanzania uncompetitive had done.