AN international three-day trade fair which started in Nairobi on Thursday was meant to correct the flaws hampering trade among East African states, according to organizers.
Africa Import Fair Managing Director Solomon Kinyanjui said on Sunday that flaws in the East African Community (EAC) treaty have put several exporters from the countries at a disadvantage.
"The decline in Kenya's exports to the region is due to the failures within the EAC treaty. The Kenyan goods entering Uganda and Tanzania are charged duty. They are at times barred for not meeting the percentage of local content," Mr Kinyanjui said.
According to the rules of origin, local manufacturers require at least 35 per cent of local produce to export to neighbouring states without paying duty. Manufactured goods failing to meet this standard face taxes.
Kenya and its East African neighbours, Uganda and Tanzania, entered into a trade pact in 2005 to charge each other a rounded tax of 25 per cent on all industrial goods, a 10 per cent charge on semi-finished products and zero duty on raw materials to boost industrial production.
The import-export fair, aiming to bring together exporters and importers from across the region and the world to boost intra-African trade, is billed as an important event to bolster dealmaking among exhibitors.