The Business Community in Kenya, led by Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) have appreciated the efforts by Kenya and Ethiopia of enhancing their relationship towards the realization of the objectives of the Special Status Agreement (SSA) for the said nations.
Ms Flora Mutahi, The vice chairlady for KAM said that the trade between Kenya and Ethiopia has been accelerating hence creating many business opportunities for individuals to explore.
“Total trade between Kenya and Ethiopia has increased from Kshs.2.2 billion in 2004 to about Kshs.7.4 billion in 2014. We acknowledge the interest of the two Governments to work more closely and strengthen our economic and commercial ties,” Ms. Mutahi added.
As a matter of fact, Kenya and Ethiopia are among the countries in Africa with high economic growth rates. Kenya has it economy at middle income status with 5.6% while Ethiopia was at 11% last year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said that “The strategic power of commerce has the ability to catalyse peace in our states. We will actively engage with you because the private sector drives the economy of any nation. Kenya and Ethiopia need to complement each other to compete with the world.”
Ethiopia’s Prime minister, H.E Hailemariam Desalegn agreed with President Uhuru Kenyatta on the issue of increase in business ties in both nations and global competition in general.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers and the business community as a whole, appreciate the opportunity from the Government of Kenya to contribute to the development of SSA and also engagements towards its implementation. They are also pleased with the developmental projects that are currently ongoing such as the LAPSSET.
Both Kenya and Ethiopia are endowed with vast natural resources, productive citizenry, huge industrial base and capability, growing agricultural sector and a large market potential of nearly 145 million people. In addition, they are both members of the Tripartite Free Trade area (TFTA), with a market potential of about 650 million people.
The areas of interest in Kenya – Ethiopia to the business community are provided for in the SSA articles 2 to 6. The SSA provides for the enhancement of trade, investments, infrastructure development, food security and sustainable livelihoods.
This will ensure that the challenges facing both countries are given utmost attention and solved through engaging in business with each other.