By Samuel Ouma
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has invited Tanzanian investors to do business in Kenya without any fear.
President Kenyatta spoke during the Kenya-Tanzania Business Forum in Nairobi, also attended by the visiting Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu.
Mr. Kenyatta announced a raft of incentive measures aimed at wooing Tanzanian investors to Kenya, saying his administration will eradicate all non-tariff barriers for Tanzanian investors coming to do business in Kenya.
“I want to say this, Tanzanian investors are free to come and do business in Kenya without being required to have business visas or work permits. The only thing you will be required to do is to follow the laid down regulations and the laws that are in place,” said Kenyatta.
Kenya’s Head of State also directed state agencies to clear heavy jam at Namanga and Holili, which barricades free trade flow.
He further ordered health ministers from both countries to move with speed and streamline Covid-19 containment measures required for traders to cross the borders with ease.
“I want to announce two directives and I want them done this week and next week. All concerned ministers please move with speed and unlock the jam in Holili, Taveta and Namanga border points. On Covid-19 certificates, please let the health ministers sit and agree on modalities. If the certificate is issued in Tanzania let those people be allowed to come to Kenya and vice versa,” he added.
He urged the private sector to explore and seize opportunities accorded by bilateral and multilateral agreements available to East Africans, such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and the EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), to grow their investments.
“The East African Community, through the East African Customs Union and East African Community Common Market Protocol, has opened our borders and unlocked opportunities for the free movement of goods, services, and investments across the EAC borders. This has paved the way for trade to thrive, new opportunities to emerge and trade to increase,” said President Kenyatta.
Kenyatta further implored Kenyans and Tanzanians to create a conducive environment for business growth instead of competing against each other.
He decried the decrease in trade volume in recent years between the two nations despite having a vibrant and entrepreneurial private sector.
On her side, President Suluhu welcomed the Kenyan private sector to invest in Tanzania.
She said, “The private sector is key to driving growth, that will deliver these jobs, transform labour market, open up opportunities and unleash entrepreneurial spirit.”