A market research by manufacturers shows Kenyan-processed goods risk losing market share locally and regionally to low-priced foreign goods if the 16 per cent petrol levy is maintained.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) said processed products were currently in fierce competition with imported goods locally where up to 40 per cent imports were registered in most sectors.
In the EAC bloc the Sh114 billion export market share could shrink further as low-priced goods made elsewhere offer buyers cheaper prices.
“Sales will dip locally and abroad forcing manufacturers to scale down production and hence, staff cuts,” said KAM’s head of membership Tobias Olando.
KAM also warned high taxes risked fostering a conducive environment for illicit trade to thrive since locally processed products were beyond reach of many.
The study showed that Kenyans will be hard hit forcing many to re-align domestic budgets to cater for food, rent and utilities while minimising expenditure on other items.
“Kenya is slowly turning out to be a net importing country and the anticipated exchange rate depreciation will only serve to worsen trade balance,” it said.