By Azania Post Reporter
IMMIGRATION chiefs in Tanzania and Kenya have been urged to meet to resolve some issues which did not encourage trade and investment the two countries.
This was said in a joint statement issued by Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Prof Adolf Mkenda and his Kenyan counterpart Chris Kiptoo.
According to statement, the meeting to be held later this year would discuss on immigration challenges facing Tanzanians and Kenyans at borders point.
However it was not immediately known as to where and when the meeting would take place but he two countries have agreed to conduct joint verification exercise on all imports and exports to help solve trade issues between the two neighboring countries.
The exercise, once established, will see goods such as lubricants, edible oils, cement and textiles produced outside Export Processing Zone trade un-prohibited between the two countries.
In the communiqué issued following three days of intensive talks, the duo underscored the significance of having regular bilateral meetings to discuss concerns and opportunities with a view of promoting trade for the mutual benefit of the two countries and its people.
“The two sides deliberated on inter-alia concerns related to the retail sector, customs, freight forwarding, administrative bottlenecks and implementation of the East African Community (EAC) directives including the Single Customs Territory system to hasten clearance of goods across the borders,” reads the statement.
Lack of preferential treatment for certain goods produced in the region citing rules of origin and application of non-tariff barriers have seen trade between East Africa’s two leading economies plummet in the last two years.
The two government officials discussed the need to ratify and implement the EAC sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) Protocol, which requires partner states to establish regulatory institutions and harmonize control measures besides speedily development and adoption of cargo tracking system.
Kiptoo said Tanzania was Kenya’s second largest export market in the EAC block and the sixth in the world.
“Kenya’s investment in Tanzania by 350 companies is worth over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars and offer employment to about 50,000 people in that country,” Kiptoo said.