MoITED CS Hon Betty Maina EGH addresses the media with Pakistan High Commissioner H.E Saqlain Syedah on the formal removal of the attestation fee charged for Kenya's tea export documents.
MINISTRY OF INDUSTRIALIZATION, TRADE AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
OFFICE OF THE CABINET SECRETARY
TALKING NOTES FOR THE CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF INDUSTRIALIZATION, TRADE AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT, HON. BETTY C. MAINA, EGH, DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE REMOVAL OF ATTESTATION FEE OF TEA EXPORT DOCUMENTS BY THE PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT
- Members of the Fourth Estate,
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Thank you for honoring our invitation to brief you on the Government’s continued initiatives to expand Kenya’s export markets.
- Today’s briefing is aimed at acknowledging the warm and cordial trade relations between Kenya and Pakistan that have been growing over time.
- Trade statistics show that Pakistan is an important economic partner of Kenya and falls within the category of Kenya’s top ten major trading partners.
- I am glad to inform you that Pakistan imported tea worth USD 589.76 million globally in 2020. In the same year, Kenya’s tea export to Pakistan amounted to USD 480.82 million, depicting an 81.5% of the Kenyan market share of the total tea imported by Pakistan in 2020.
- I have also observed that total trade between the two countries has grown steadily over the years; from USD 283 million in 2008 to USD 705 million in 2020. In 2020, the value of Kenyan imports from Pakistan was approximately USD 199 million while Kenyan exports to Pakistan were valued at about USD 506 million. These figures indicate that trade between the two countries is highly in favor of Kenya.
- More to this, tremendous investment opportunities exist for Pakistan in Kenya’s Export Processing Zones (EPZs), telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and the agricultural sector, among others.
Ladies and gentlemen:
- On 7th April this year, Kenya and Pakistan held the Inaugural session of the Kenya-Pakistan Joint Trade Committee meeting virtually, to discuss and exchange views on ways to increase and diversify bilateral trade, capitalizing on the comparative advantage of these two economies. The JTC meeting also paved way to open dialogue in diversifying the products being traded between the two countries.
- During this meeting, both sides deliberated on various issues of mutual interest and explored existing and new cooperation areas that could benefit both countries.
- Among the key items discussed were concerns on the Attestation Fee of tea export documents from Kenya to Pakistan, which has been a long standing issue.
- Kenyan traders had requested for the removal of the Attestation Fee that was charged by the Pakistan High Commission in Nairobi. The fee was initiated when Kenya initiated taxation of Pakistan rice at 75% under the EAC protocol in the year 2007.
- Kenya requested for elimination and removal of Attestation Fee of tea export documents from Kenya to Pakistan during the JTC negotiations, and the Pakistan side agreed to initiate the process.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
- The Pakistan High Commission in Kenya initiated this process and I am glad to inform Kenyan traders today that the Attestation Fee for the tea export documents has officially been removed, effective 16th August, 2021.
- I would like to convey our gratitude to the Government of Pakistan for accepting our request.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
- Among other key issues discussed during the JTC meeting were various Memoranda of Understanding between various agencies from both countries.
- On technical standards, both sides have agreed to strengthen collaboration in areas of standardization, conformity assessment, sharing of technical information and training of each other’s personnel in the field of standards. An MoU between Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Pakistan Standard Quality and Control Authority (PSQCA) on matters of standard will be signed soon.
- On matters plant health, both sides have agreed to strengthen collaboration in Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) and Plant Variety protection, seed quality assurance and enforcement, and exchange programmes to enhance learning from experiences.
- Two MoUs on plant protection initiated in 2016 on Mangoes and Citrus importation from Pakistan have been finalized and are ready for signing, subject to concurrence by Kenya’s State Department for Agriculture.
- Kenya has also requested Pakistan to consider importation of avocado, herbs, nuts, and vegetables from Kenya. The Pakistan side agreed to consider the request. In this regard, Kenya has prepared and already shared two MoUs on Avocados and Nuts exports to Pakistan for their review and consideration.
- Other areas of cooperation that the two sides are closely and actively working on include; Cooperation in Trade and Investments, Health and Pharmaceuticals, Customs, Leather and Textile Industries, Vocational and Technical Training, and Tourism.
- I am optimistic that, we will be able to deliberate on issues of mutual interest and explore existing and new cooperation areas that both countries can benefit from.
- To enhance our trade further, I want to assure you that the Government of Kenya is committed to increase and sustain trade and investment as well as diversify the products being traded between these two countries.
God bless you, God bless Kenya.
Continue keeping safe and wearing your masks!
Betty C. Maina, EGH,
Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development
31st August, 2021