Kenya hopes that its cement and confectionery will soon get access to the Tanzanian market, as efforts by the two countries to resolve a standoff over the products near fruition.
A team of Tanzanian officials is expected in Kenya next week to inspect the cement and confectionery factories to verify the source of the raw materials used in their manufacture, before a decision on exports is made.
Chris Kiptoo, Kenya’s Trade Principal Secretary, told The EastAfrican that the Kenyan products could enter Tanzanian market in two weeks’ time once the verification team completes its exercise.
During a recent bilateral trade meeting on non-tariff barriers in Arusha, the two countries agreed to fast-track the verification missions recommended for confirmation of product origin as provided for in the East African Community rules of origin.
It was agreed that compliance with the rules of origin be upheld and preferential treatment be accorded to products that qualify, a significant breakthrough in resolving trade disputes that have become a big threat to the region’s integration efforts.
Tanzania has since early last year locked out the two products from its market because of the use of imported clinker and duty-free sugar in their manufacturing respectively.