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Kenya-Ethiopia seals a deal to establish cross-border trade



Kenya and Ethiopia have sealed a pact that will see the establishment of a free trade area that will facilitate easier cross-border trade.

The Moyale One-Stop Border Post Procedure Manual, signed recently in Addis Ababa, will give the two enjoy a competitive edge concerning goods traded.

The deal seeks to encourage small-scale traders by developing a simplified framework to facilitate their business activities at the border.

It will also help to harmonise Kenya and Ethiopia’s trade regimes, particularly on agricultural products, to allow citizens from both countries to conduct business beyond the borders.

Kenya Exports to Ethiopia was $ 74.01 Million in 2020

Kenya Exports to Ethiopia was US$74.01 Million during 2020, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

According to Interior Ministry Chief Administrative Secretary Wilson Njenga, the deal will enhance cross-border trade and the movement of people.

He said the deal is the culmination of meetings and deliberations between the two governments in ensuring that the Moyale One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) is operational.

The OSBP, he said, will be relied on by the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor project due to its accelerated services and improved infrastructure.

The OSPB manual is expected to provide a structured framework for both countries to make cooperation easier.

Both governments also agreed on the need to reopen the Moyale border post to encourage legitimate trade and movement of people, while also mitigating security issues like human and drug trafficking.

Negotiations between both countries for a bilateral free trade area was initiated by Trademark East Africa.

Both countries have maintained as members of the IGAD trade bloc. However, commerce has largely been unidirectional, with Ethiopia mainly importing products from Kenya.

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