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Vibrant private sector, a boost to Kenya-Ethiopia trade ties

11 March 2014, 14:08 Nechesa Chemoi

Addis Ababa - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has said trade between Kenya and Ethiopia will be boosted by the involvement of the private sectors of the two countries.

Amina who was addressing a business forum between businesspeople from the two countries in Addis Ababa said the growth, poverty reduction, and improving people’s lives require a vibrant private sector.

“The private sector has a key role to play in addressing common challenges our countries face by supporting inclusive growth, poverty reduction, job creation, and access to critical goods and basic services and by providing tax revenues,” said Amina.

She hailed Kenya has had good relations with Ethiopia and this will continue for the benefit of the citizens of the two countries.

“I am glad to note that the volume of trade between Kenya and Ethiopia has been registering a steady growth over the years. But there remains a huge unexploited potential, and this is part of the reason why Forums like this are very important as they help us to increase our commercial interaction,” said Amina.

According to Amina, Kenya was committed to implementation of the Special Status Agreement (SSA) which she said will enhance trade and investment flows between both countries.

“The SSA will provide a strong foundation for sustaining the special relationship between Kenya and Ethiopia, and provide a framework for engagement with bilateral investors particularly in the development of strategic infrastructure and aligning them to both countries’ development agenda,” she said.

The SSA identifies trade, investment, infrastructure, food security and sustainable development as the areas of co-operation.

“Kenya and Ethiopia are out to encourage the private sector driven growth, we acknowledge the fact that the private sector thrives on profits and the two governments therefore must facilitate repatriation of profits by businesses operating in either country and put in place mechanisms for avoidance of double taxation of incomes earned in one country by companies belonging to the other country,” she added.

She called for fair competition particularly in such flagship areas such as the hospitality, transport and airline industry.

Amina is in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s delegation on the current State Visit in Ethiopia.

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