Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to do away with non-tariff barriers as the initial renewal of the diplomatic and business ties that have deteriorated for years.
Non-tariff barriers refer to restrictions that result from prohibitions, conditions, or specific market requirements that make the importation or exportation of products difficult and costly.
In a joint statement at the Nairobi State House, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his visiting counterpart Samia Suluhu agreed to work together to strengthen the ties for the benefit of the two countries.
The countries will also have a joint health task force on Covid-19, that will oversee a smooth flow of business across the borders by expediating testing of Covid-19.
“Kwa lengo la kukuza biashara, tumekubaliana kushughulikia vikwazo visivyo vya kodi… Mawaziri wetu wa afya waweke mikakati kuangalia mambo ya Corona kwa haraka, ili biashara ziendelee. (For purposes of business, we have agreed to deal with non-tariff barriers… Our Ministers for Health will lay in place strategies for faster Covid-19 testing, so that business can continue),” said Suluhu.
Suluhu revealed that Kenya was the biggest investor in Tanzania among the East Africa peers with over 513 projects worth over Ksh170 billion, employing over 51,000 Tanzanians.
On the other hand, Tanzania has only 30 projects in Kenya, which President Suluhu promised would increase.
The two countries also signed an agreement to have a gas pipeline from Mombasa to Tanzania, which will be implemented by the two governments.
“Tumeweka mikataba hasa kuhusu pipeline ya gas toka Mombasa hadi Tanzania. Pia tumeweka mkataba wa kuimarisha culture and national heritage, mkataba wa tourism (We have signed an agreement to have a gas pipeline from Mombasa to Tanzania.We have also signed an agreement to strengthen culture, national heritage and tourism),” said President Uhuru Kenyatta.