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High cost of production inhibit traders eyeing East African market

High cost of production in the country is constraining traders who wish to penetrate into East African market.
Kenyan members of East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) said despite efforts to remove trade barriers among member countries, Kenyan traders were facing challenges in selling their products in neighbouring countries.
The members who held a public sensitization forum in Murang’a on Monday noted that high cost of production in the country is exposing manufacturers and traders to unfair competition.
While fielding questions from residents, the members said the reason for the current influx of cheap goods from Uganda and Tanzania was due to high taxes levied in the country making Kenyan goods expensive.
One of EALA members Abdkadir Aden observed that some Kenyans have crossed to some of the neighbouring countries to produce goods and then sell them at a cheap price in the country.
“Some cheap eggs and maize brought from Uganda are produced by Kenyans who have gone to live there since the cost of production is cheap,” noted Aden.
“Kenyan government should consider reducing taxes that affect production and manufacturing of goods so as to make them competitive in the East African community market,” he added.
The assembly, he observed, is legislating laws and policies that would bring more unity and ease movement of goods between the member countries.
“We are targeting to establish an East African currency by 2024. The currency will go a long way in supporting trade between the countries,” noted the Member.
Speaking during the same occasion, EALA member Oburu Odinga also challenged Kenyan manufacturers to produce quality products to win more buyers from the community.
Oburu cited a case where dairy products were barred by Tanzanian government on claims that they did not meet standards of that country.
“Dairy products can get huge market in Tanzania since the country produces less milk than the demand. But unfortunately, one time they rejected our milk claiming it does not meet their standards,” he observed saying currently some milk brands from Kenya are being sold in Tanzania.
The EALA members said they are touring all counties to enlighten Kenyans on importance of the East African Community.
Another Member Wanjiku Muhia challenged Murang’a residents particularly farmers to take advantage of removal of trade barriers and sell their products in the East African countries.
The community, Wanjiku noted, is also working to improve infrastructure across member countries to ease movement of good and labour.
By Bernard Munyao

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