The Government today appealed to parliament to pass the Trade Remedies Bill, the Legal Metrology Bill and The Trade Development Bill all which had been formulated to address challenges that undermine the growth of manufacturing sector as well as internal and external trade.
PS for Trade Dr Chris Kiptoo asked members to pass the three bills before parliament dissolves to save local infant industries from collapse as a result of stiff competitions from heavily subsidized imported goods.
In a speech read on his behalf by Senior Deputy Secretary in the ministry Mr. Samson Wangusi during a sensitization workshop for parliamentary committee members on Finance, Planning and Trade, the PS said that Kenya can no longer continue to be a perpetual dumping ground for cheap substandard goods.
He decried that some investors had relocated to South Africa and Egypt in the face of stiff competition from imported goods as a result of unfair trade practices. “These are the only two countries in Africa with Trade Remedies that check against unfair trade practices, and Kenya could become the third country”, said the PS.
He disclosed that the government planned to generate additional Ksh 30 Billion to the GDP by producing consumer goods that compete with imports in key local industries, but cautioned that this ambitious target would not be possible unless Kenya as a country moved faster to level the playing field by checking unfair trade practices that undermine local industries and make the country dependent on imported goods.
He said specific strategies will involve restructuring key local industries that use local raw materials but lack competitive edge and exploiting opportunities in adding value to imported which will then be re-exported for maximum profits. “We have also to instill confidence in the Kenyan consumer that local products are as good as imported in terms of value for money and quality”, said Dr. Kiptoo.