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TradeMark in Sh464m grant to help firms get trade deals

Kepsa will receive Sh155 million ($1.5 million)
Kepsa will receive Sh155 million ($1.5 million) financing. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has pumped Sh464 million into two lobby groups to help the private sector grow trade and provide investment opportunities for Kenyan firms.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) will receive Sh155 million ($1.5 million) financing to be channelled under the lobby’s five-year Public-Private Sector Dialogue (PPD) programme, while the East African Business Council (EABC) will get Sh309 million ($3 million).

The Kepsa is expected to seek better conditions for increased trade and investment for Kenyan businesses as well as create jobs.

The EABC’s will, however, be channelled to the resolution of non-tariff barriers (NTBs), harmonisation and adoption of standards in the region and improved adoption of customs and domestic tax policies.

“The evidence is clear. The private sector is the engine of economic growth. Successful businesses drive growth, create jobs and pay the taxes that finance public services and investment. The PPD for trade and investment programme will give a voice to the private sector,” TMEA-Kenya Country Director Ahmed Farah said in a statement yesterday.

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NTBs remain a key challenge to East Africa’s integration since the establishment of Customs Union Protocol in 2005.

Barriers to cross-border trade such as multiple product standard inspections and bureaucracy delay transactions while increasing business costs.

“Inadequate trading regimes restrictions on the export of certain commodities, and a lack of product diversification and the existence of NTBs continue to hamper intra-regional trade which is still low at 20 per cent compared to other regional economic communities,” said EABC Chief Executive Peter Mathuki.

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