KENYA, TANZANIA RESOLVE TRADE STANDOFF

NAIROBI, Kenya and Tanzania have resolved a trade stand-off which had hindered the free flow of exports between the two East African Community (EAC) member nations.

The two countries have now agreed to allow the importation and export of wheat flour, milk and cooking gas while Tanzania is expected to make a decision on when cigarettes from Kenya can be allowed into its market.

A communique signed by the two nations says the trade agreement takes effect immediately, according to a media statement released here Friday. Kenya and Tanzania had been engaged in trade and diplomatic tiffs for a long time now which had affected trade between the sub-region's two economic heavyweights.

Two weeks ago, the Ministers of Trade and Foreign Affairs from the two nations met to end the stand-off which has cost business owners millions of shillings in losses. But barely one week ago, Tanzania failed to remove a number of restrictions which existed before the truce, denying Kenyan exporters entry into the Tanzanian market.

A statement issued by the two countries said the Tanzanian authorities would now allow dairy products from Kenya unhindered access to the Tanzania market with immediate effect.

However, manufacturers of cigarettes will have to wait for two more weeks before Tanzania can make a decision on whether they will be granted duty-free access to the Tanzanian market.

Kenya has given wheat exporters from Tanzania the nod to bring the commodity to Kenya. Already, 26 trucks which were stuck at the Namanga border crossing have been cleared to enter Kenya.

Kenya has also agreed to allow cooking gas from Tanzania in a deal that is set to lower the price of the fuel in the local market. The two sides agreed to meet in a fortnight's time to review progress in implementing the agreement.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK