PS Amb. Johnson Weru during the virtual meeting
KENYA – PAKISTAN JOINT TRADE COMMITTEE (JTC) INAUGURAL MEETING
By Public Communications Unit
Kenya and Pakistan have held their inaugural session of the Pakistan-Kenya Joint Trade Committee virtually, where they both agreed to review the 1983 Bilateral Trade Agreement with the aim of increasing and sustaining trade and investment as well as diversifying products traded between the two countries.
Pursuant to Article (10) of the Bilateral Trade Agreement signed between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Kenya on 12th March1983, the Inaugural Session of the Kenya-Pakistan Joint Trade Committee was hosted by the Kenyan side virtually on 7th April 2021.
Principal Secretary for Trade and Enterprise Development Ambassador Johnson Weru led the Kenyan delegation, while the Pakistan delegation was led by the Federal Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce & Textile Mr. Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui.
In his opening remarks PS Amb.Weru expressed optimism that they would deliberate on issues of mutual interest and explore existing and new cooperation areas that both countries can benefit from. He assured the meeting that the Government of Kenya is committed to the implementation of the outcomes of the JTC meeting.
In their deliberations, the two sides highlighted the importance of holding the JTC meeting to continue the dialogue and exchange of views on means to increase and diversify bilateral trade capitalizing on the comparative advantage of both economies.
Both sides agreed to review the bilateral trade agreement and noted the upward trend since its signing in 1983. Both sides underscored the urgent need to increase and sustain trade and investment as well as diversify the products being traded between the two countries.
Kenya requested for elimination and removal of attestation and fee of tea and export documents from Kenya to Pakistan with the Pakistan side agreeing to initiate the process and finalize it within three months.
Both sides also agreed on the need to reduce and eliminate Non-tariff barriers to enhance flow of trade. They further agreed to strengthen collaboration in areas standardization, conformity assessment, sharing of technical information and training of each other’s personnel in the field of standards.
Both sides also agreed to among other matters, endeavour to eliminate any obstacles that may hinder the flow of investment and facilitation of investors from either country desiring to invest in their respective countries; Strengthen the cooperation in leather and textile sector; Exchange information on trade and investment opportunities and intensify promotional campaigns by holding exhibitions, conferences, and workshops to promote investment opportunities in both countries;
They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in sharing experiences and opportunities through exchanging knowledge and information on planning and management of Export Processing Zones and exchange visits to share lessons learnt and best practices in the development of Special Economic Zones.
On air transport, both sides noted that the Kenya/Pakistan Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) negotiated and signed on 18th February 1981 had been reviewed, and the MoU signed on 29th September 2009. As a result, Kenya proposed that both airlines take advantage of the existing agreement so that Kenya Airways commences flights to Karachi to facilitate the growing trade between the two states. Kenya also proposed the removal of restrictions on frequency and capacity, among others.
Total trade between the two countries has been growing over the years; from USD 283 million in 2008 to USD 700 million in 2019. In 2018 Kenya’s exports to Pakistan amounted to USD 586 million while it imported goods worth USD 212 million from Pakistan. These figures indicate that trade between the two countries is in favor of Kenya.
Trade statistics show that Pakistan is an important economic partner of Kenya and falls within the category of the top ten major trading partners of Kenya. In 2017, Pakistan was Kenya’s number one export destination and second in the year 2018.The statistics indicate existence of opportunities for both countries to increase their trade volumes.