By The COAST Reporter
Kenya and Tanzania are yet to come to a consensus on how to strengthen economic ties between the two East African states.
Speaking to journalist in Mombasa on Tuesday during a bilateral trade harmonization forum, the Permanent Secretary of state department of trade in Kenya Dr Chris Kiptoo said though there have been challenges between the two neighbors they are forging way forward to facilitate trade between the two countries.
The state official added that there have been challenges especially in the retail sector in both the two countries but insisted that they are working towards cementing the challenges.
“There were challenges but currently between the two countries but we have solved those challenges and are now doing well.” The PS said.
The PS said the ministry has currently launched a National Trade Policy that will enhance economic harmonization to all retail stakeholders.
He outlined that through the National Trade Policy the trade ministry has laid a code of practice to be followed by both retail outlets in the two countries to regulate their operations.
“We have launched a national trade policy that will facilitate trade between these countries. There is a code of practice that will regulate all retail dealers.” He outlined
He however refuted claims that there exist weaker diplomatic ties between the two countries insisting that there is a strong bond between Kenya and Tanzania.
The senior state official said Tanzania has established strong trade ties with Kenya thereby facilitating bilateral trade between the two neighbouring states.
“I do not really agree that we differ with Tanzania that is just here say. I sat with my colleague and resolved the differences.” He said
On the other hand, the Tanzanian Permanent secretary of trade Professor Elisante Ole Gabriel confirmed that Tanzania has had closer trade relations with Kenya since time immemorial.
He thanked the two presidents for creating a conducive business environment that has led to easing trade between the two bordering countries.
“The relations between the two countries have been here ever since. The two presidents have fostered good relations thereby enhancing trade between us.” The Tanzanian state official pointed out.
He said in spite of the challenges experienced in the recent past the two secretaries have had quite a good time to deliberate on trade issues affecting the two countries.
He however rubbished claims that the trade ties between Kenya and Tanzania has depreciated insisting that there is a bilateral consensus between the two neighbouring countries.
“There are no trade barriers between Kenya and Tanzania.” He insisted.