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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

JOINT COMMUNIQUE OF THE BILATERAL TRADE MEETING TO ADDRESS TRADE-RELATED CONCERNS BETWEEN THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA AND THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA HELD ON 06TH – 08TH SEPTEMBER, 2017 AT MWALIMU JULIUS NYERERE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE IN DAR ES SALAAM

1. As agreed during the bilateral meeting between Tanzania and Kenya held in Namanga on 03rd August 2017, a bilateral technical meeting to address trade-related concerns between the two countries was convened on 06th- 08th September 2017 in Dar es Salaam.

2. The meeting was co-chaired by Prof. Adolf Mkenda, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Dr. Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives of the Republic of Kenya.

3. During the meeting, which was held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, the two sides noted the impetus to enhance and ease bilateral trade between the two countries that has been given by the two Heads of State, His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and His Excellency Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya.

4. The two sides underscored the significance of having regular bilateral meetings to discuss concerns and opportunities with a view of promoting trade in the two countries for the mutual benefit of the two countries and its people.

5. During the meeting, the two sides deliberated on inter-alia, concerns related to the retail sector, customs, freight forwarding, market access, administrative bottlenecks, and implementation of the relevant East African Community directives. In this regard, the two sides called for the effective and timely implementation of the agreements reached in the bilateral meeting with a view to ease the flow of goods and services.

Overall, the meeting noted with satisfaction the smooth conduct and flow of trade between the two countries, and that the Presidential Directives regarding the free flow of LPG, wheat flour, milk and milk product have been implemented. 

Among other things, the two sides agreed to the following:
  • The Management of Uchumi and Nakumatt Supermarkets should work with their suppliers to come up with a roadmap on how to settle the outstanding payments, and policy measures should be instituted to ensure that the retail sectors do not face a recurrence of similar challenges;
  • To implement the SCT system to speed up clearance of goods, and in particular perishable goods;
  • To speed up the development and adoption of regional cargo tracking system;
  • To encourage the Chiefs of Immigration Services in the two countries to convene a meeting to resolve immigration issues between the two countries; 
  • To conduct verification exercise on lubricants, edible oils, cement and textiles produced outside EPZs in order to ascertain the origin of the product, and fair competition issues on textiles in particular; and,
  • To ratify and implement EAC SPS Protocol, which requires EAC Partner State to establish regulatory institutions and harmonize SPS control measures. KEBS and TFDA to cooperate on harmonization of SPS measures.
7. In addition, a sideline meeting for wheat farmers and millers from Tanzania and Kenya was held on the margins of the bilateral meeting, and was equally co-chaired by Prof. Mkenda and Dr. Kiptoo. The meeting brought together key wheat stakeholders from the two countries to jointly discuss measures to support wheat farming in both countries. The meeting agreed to prioritize wheat produced locally in order to support the farmers. Thus, while the Namanga agreement stands Millers have agreed to voluntarily mop up wheat grains produced locally (Tanzania and Kenya) before importing from outside the region.

8. Following the conclusion of the meeting, the co-chairs signed the minutes of the bilateral meeting and the sideline meeting for wheat stakeholders outlining the way forward.

9. It was agreed that the next bilateral trade meeting will be held in November, 2017 in the Republic of Kenya.

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