Data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that Kenya exported goods worth Ksh10.54 billion ($100 million) to Tanzania between January and May, 28.58 per cent more than the same period in 2017.
This has placed Tanzania almost at par with other Kenyan goods importers. For instance, in the same period, Pakistan which has remained at the top of the list, ordered goods worth Ksh23.07 billion ($229 million), a 7.11 per cent drop compared to a similar period last year.
First runners-ups Netherlands imported from Kenya goods worth Ksh21.65 billion, reflecting 13.45 per cent growth. Uganda’s appetite for Kenyan goods dropped by 2.76 per cent to Ksh21.31 billion.
Other top export destinations include the UK, which overtook the US during the period to become Kenya’s fourth-largest market ordering goods valued for Ksh17.57 billion or a 12.93 per cent jump as the American order book thinned by 7.65 per cent to Ksh17.13 billion ($169 million).
Early this month, Kenyan Trade PS Chris Kiptoo and his Tanzanian counterpart Elisante ole Gabriel issued a joint statement indicating that months of bilateral meetings over a 10-year market access impasse had yielded a breakthrough.
Trade relations between Kenya and Tanzania had been souring over the years due to tariff and non-tariff barriers, hurting the flow of goods across the borders.
“We are making progress. There’s now improved relations between us and Tanzania. There’s an open channel,” remarked Dr Kiptoo.
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