Prospects for Pak­istan-kenya trade

Enterprise - - Bilateral -

Pak­istan’s re­la­tions with Kenya be­gan in the 1960s when Pak­istan of­fered unan­i­mous sup­port to the Kenyan peo­ple in seek­ing in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tish rule. Kenya and Pak­istan have his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural ties which have aug­mented bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween both coun­tries. The warm and cor­dial ties gained strength when Kenya es­tab­lished its mis­sion in Islamabad 27 years back.

Kenya’s new pol­icy of ‘ Look East’ has laid em­pha­sis on Pak­istan to pro­mote trade and de­vel­op­ment in the mu­tual in­ter­est of both na­tions. In fact, Kenya looks at Pak­istan as an im­por­tant coun­try which Kenya can ben­e­fit from.

The en­hanced level of in­ter­est by Kenya in Pak­istani prod­ucts was de­picted in 2003 when Pak­istan’s ex­ports to Kenya stood at $ 57.482 mil­lion. The Kenyan For­eign Min­is­ter said, “Kenya val­ues its friend­ship with Pak­istan and it ex­presses the de­sire for fur­ther deep­en­ing of eco­nomic and com­mer­cial ties be­tween the two coun­tries”.

Kenya is one of the ma­jor pro­duc­ers of tea in the world, while Pak­istan is the largest con­sumer of Kenyan tea and a ma­jor ex­porter of rice to Kenya. In March 2009, Pak­istan im­ported 3,431 tonnes of tea, a 38 per­cent rise com­pared to 2,473 tonnes in the same month the pre­vi­ous year.

Pak­istan’s ex­ports to Kenya in­clude wheat, rice, tex­tiles, wo­ven cot­ton fab­rics, spe­cial syn­thetic fab­rics, knit­ted and cro­cheted fab­rics and med­i­cal and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts. Pak­istan has also ex­ported IT tech­nol­ogy to Kenya through NADRA, which has repli­cated its Ma­chine Read­able Pass­ports, one of the world’s most se­cure and stan­dard­ized pass­ports meet­ing all In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion ( ICAO) stan­dards. project is de­ployed in Nairobi, Mom­basa and Kisumu.

On the other hand, Kenya’s ex­ports to Pak­istan con­sist of tea, hides and skins, fash­ion ap­parel, chem­i­cal el­e­ments of com­pounds, leather and its prod­ucts, iron, steel, ma­chin­ery, veg­eta­bles, syn­thetic tex­tile fi­bres and road ve­hi­cles.

Kenya has agreed to re­duce duty on Pak­istani goods from 40 to 25 per­cent in or­der to en­hance their mar­ket. In re­turn Pak­istan has of­fered a $5 mil­lion credit line to Kenya for im­port­ing en­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing goods.

As a sig­nif­i­cant trade mea­sure, the Trade De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity ( TDAP) has set up a ware­house in­nairobi and at the port in Mom­basa to mar­ket Pak­istani prod­ucts in the Kenyan mar­ket. Pak­istan opened its first ware­house in Nairobi in 2006.

While both coun­tries of­fer plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­hance bi­lat­eral trade, the present vol­ume of trade is not up to full po­ten­tial. This is due to the fact that trade is still limited to cer­tain ar­eas and not fully ex­plored. But fu­ture trade prospects re­main fruit­ful, as the two coun­tries are blessed with a lot of nat­u­ral re­sources and busi­ness in­tel­li­gence with the abil­ity to tap di­verse sec­tors of the econ­omy.

For this rea­son, busi­ness­men of both coun­tries are be­ing en­cour­aged to ex­plore joint trade ven­tures in var­i­ous sec­tors and par­tic­i­pate in each oth­ers’ trade fairs for boost­ing the trade vol­ume. Presently, vol­ume of bi­lat­eral trade is tilted heav­ily in favour of Kenya. There­fore in or­der to achieve a bet­ter bal­ance, ef­fec­tive strate­gies are re­quired for en­hanc­ing Pak­istan’s ex­ports to Kenya

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