KENYA will soon start working under a new exports plan that will see it increase exports to other African countries and emerging economies like Brazil, China and India, the government said on Thursday.
Kenya Finance Minister Njeru Githae said in his financial year 2012/2013 budget presentation in the Kenyan Parliament on Thursday that new plan will also expands the choice of goods Kenya has traditionally exported and will also encourage export of services.
"While significant progress in integration has been achieved under the East Africa Community (EAC), there is much potential for expanded trade and investment in the COMESA and the rest of Africa, " Githae said.
He said the new plan pays particular attention on high value primary products such as macadamia and cashew nuts that have shown excellent prospects in the export markets.
The government's overall projection is that the country's exports will continue to benefit from the relatively strong growth in the sub region and emerging economies of India, Brazil, China and Eastern Europe.
The new plan also recognizes the increasing importance of intra- Africa trade to Kenya as traditional European markets becomes more selective in what it imports and from where in addition to the economic difficulties in the region that has reduced its purchasing power.
As part of this plan, the government announced that weighbridges and road blocks' along the main highways especially those serving landlocked neighboring countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo will relocated to ports of entry while others will be completely removed or drastically reduced by December this year.
"The government will provide additional resources toward investment in infrastructure to facilitate
export of services in the oil sector from the region, attract petroleum related industries and establishment of transshipment," Githae said.
"I have also allocated resources to diversify and promote indigenous exports so as to bolster the source of livelihood of many Kenyans in various regions," said the minister.
The new export plan is part of an earlier one announced by the Export Promotion Council (EPC), a state-owned agency that the new emphasis will be on encouraging export of processed goods in order to increase the value of the exports, a break from the current bulk export of raw commodities.
The new plan also envisages diversification of the current exports dominated by agriculture produce, to include services like information technology that Kenya is strong in compared to her peers in the continent.