Kenya, Tanzania Mend Diplomatic Relations for Cross-border Business

Kenya lifts visa, work permit requirements for Tanzanians

President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Suluhu Samia of the United Republic of TanzaniaFlag of Tanzania address a joint press briefing at State House, Nairobi after witnessing the signing of three bilateral agreements. May 4, 2021

Tanzania may be rethinking its relations with Kenya, according to recent developments. 

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan who has been in Kenya for a two-day state visit, together with President Uhuru Kenyatta admitted that the nations are yet to meet their full potential due to the frosty relationship they have had before.

“We would like to see many investors from Tanzania coming to do business in Kenya. And I want to say this, Tanzanian investors are free to come and do business in Kenya without being required to have business visas or work permits,” Kenyatta spoke during a joint Kenya-Tanzania Business Forum on Wednesday.

“The only thing you will be required to do is to follow the laid down regulations and the laws,” he added.

President Suluhu also outlined reforms being undertaken by her administration to enhance ease of doing business and welcomed the Kenyan private sector to invest in Tanzania.

“Tanzania is highly committed to seeing a vibrant private sector through the industrialization of her economy,” she said.

During her address to a joint sitting of The National Assembly and Senate, President Suluhu said the two countries are dependent on each other.

“We depend on each other in good and in bad times. When there is drought in Tanzania, famine is always around the corner in Kenya. When industries are affected in Kenya, goods become unavailable in Tanzania therefore we need each other for our own survival and economic benefit,” said Suluhu.

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Ms Phyllis Wakiaga’s, CEO of Kenya Association of Manufactures during the Kenya-Tanzania Business Forum, emphasised that the biggest impediment to trade between the two nations is trade barriers.

Key among them, the discriminatory treatment of products due to imposition of excise duty and import charges.

She called for the removal of discriminative excise duties and fees that are contrary to Article 10 of the Customs Union Protocol.

The two states agreed to set up a joint team of experts to address the disjointed enforcement of cross-border Covid-19 containment protocols, one of the most pronounced non-tariff trade barrier between the two nations.

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