En­voy roots for Kenya-Morocco trade agree­ment

The Star (Kenya) - - News Busi­ness - RA­MAD­HAN RA­JAB @Rra­jab

Kenya and Morocco should sign a bi­lat­eral trade pact to fa­cil­i­tate free move­ment of goods and peo­ple be­tween the two coun­tries, a diplo­mat has urged.

The two signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing in June 2013, when a del­e­ga­tion from about 106 com­pa­nies vis­ited Nairobi scout­ing for in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in health, agri­cul­ture, ICT, en­ergy and con­struc­tion sec­tors.

Moroc­can na­tional car­rier, Royal Air Maroc, started in­au­gu­ral flights to Nairobi in March this year.

Speak­ing to the Star, Kenya Honorary Con­sul to Morocco Ali Ba­jaber asked tourism play­ers to in­tro­duce Arab-friendly prod­ucts to at­tract Arab tourists.

“We now have three flights be­tween Nairobi and Casablanca and we hope to in­crease to six flights a week. But it will be to Kenya’s ad­van­tage if we can at­tract and re­tain Arab trav­ellers as well as do trade,” Ba­jaber said.

“We don’t have a trade agree­ment. We can trade freely with­out cus­tom duty bar­ri­ers as well as use Casablanca to tar­get the EU mar­kets due to Morocco’s prox­im­ity to the EU. There­fore, the Joint Com­mis­sion com­mit­tee from both Kenya and Morocco should fa­cil­i­tate the sign­ing of bi­lat­eral agree­ments to spur trade.”

Ba­jaber also called for the es­tab­lish­ment of the Kenya Pri­vate Sec­tor Alliance and the Kenya Na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try chap­ters in Morocco to help mar­ket Kenya as an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion.

The diplo­mat asked ho­tel and tour op­er­a­tors to be in­no­va­tive and ac­quaint them­selves with Ara­bi­ans’ con­sumer habits.

“Arabs love lux­u­ri­ous shop­ping cen­tres and ho­tels. They don’t like driv­ing long dis­tances and love ha­lal prod­ucts. There­fore, there is need to in­tro­duce ha­lal tourism, drop ex­or­bi­tant pric­ing for tourism prod­ucts like on ac­com­mo­da­tion in ho­tels and even tour car­a­vans, and make Kenyan prod­ucts trendy and fash­ion­able, “he said.

Ba­jaber wants the Kenya Tourism Board to mar­ket the coun­try, par­tic­u­larly in the Maghreb and Mid­dle East re­gion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.