KEPSA and TPSF agree to enhance bilateral trade between Kenya and Tanzania

KEPSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its Tanzanian equivalent, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) today, 21st April, 2017, at the KEPSA offices. KEPSA CEO, Ms. Carole Kariuki and TPSF Executive Director, Mr. Godfrey Simbeye, put pen to paper with the main aim of enhancing private sector cooperation to strengthen bilateral business and trade relations between Tanzania and Kenya.

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The MoU is mainly meant to: Promote long-term partnership between business communities of Tanzania and Kenya; Strengthen communication, interactions and cooperation between the two business communities in the field of business information, trade, investments, technology and projects related to economy, for the benefits of all their members and the business community at large; Provide the business communities of both countries with a regular and recognized bilateral platform of discussion and promotion of economic and private sector development activities and partnerships; and to identify and develop areas for cooperation between the TPSF and KEPSA.

Ms. Carole Kariuki said, “We look to establish a dialogue policy platform which will bring together members of the private sector from both countries and will be used to highlight issues before and during the Joint Business Council (JBC) meetings as established by leaders of the two countries during the Oct 31st – Nov 1st 2016 state visit by H.E John Pombe Magufuli of the United Republic of Tanzania to Kenya. H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya and H.E. Magufuli agreed to strengthen trade ties and address any trade bottlenecks between the two countries through bilateral negotiations. In this regard, there is need for the private sector to continually identify obstacles prohibiting the expansion of bilateral economic relations and recommend ways and means to the respective governments that would be beneficial and helpful for increasing trade, investment and cooperation between businesses.

Mr. Godfrey Simbeye assured KEPSA CEO that TPSF looks forward to working with KEPSA in their shared endeavors to explore opportunities for their respective private sectors in the partner states. He went on to say, “TPSF wants the MoU to make a real difference that will be felt by our respective members. We will establish specific areas to jointly work on with a view to show meaningful progress and impact for the private sector within the next year”

Both partners are confident that this move will encourage the business community of both countries to participate in opportunities and programs organized or supported by TPSF and KEPSA in Tanzania and Kenya (conferences, seminars, exhibitions and fairs etc.). With the agreement, KEPSA and TPSF will seek to engage in advocacy with their respective governments to address various barriers to investment and trade experienced by members of the reciprocating partner that are contrary to the spirit of the partnership envisioned in the JBC and the EAC.