Kenya, Malawi ink bilateral pacts to boost trade, investments

Kenya and Malawi have inked eight new agreements designed to strengthen bilateral relations including trade and investments between the two nations.

The agreements were signed Thursday afternoon at State House, Nairobi, at the end of bilateral talks between Kenyan and Malawian delegations led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Southern Africa counterpart Lazarus Chakwera who is in the country for a three-day state visit.

The eight agreements cover broad areas of cooperation between Kenya and Malawi in politics, diplomacy, defence, fisheries and aquaculture as well as cooperative development.

Others are technical cooperation in health and tourism.

President Kenyatta said the pacts would enable Malawi and Kenya to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) the new continent-wide free trade that took effect from January this year.

Kenya, a member of the East African Community’s (EAC) customs union mainly exports tobacco products, fertiliser, soaps, chemicals, packaging materials and printed matter to Malawi, a member of Southern African Development Community (SADC).

“Through these multilateral platforms Kenya, Malawi and other African countries have an excellent opportunity to explore tangible approaches to build strong and resilient African economies, post Covid-19,” President Kenyatta said.

The pacts come at a time Kenyan manufacturers have been scouting for cheaper channels of getting goods into Malawi in a campaign that has sought to significantly improve the volume of exports to the southern African countries.

Trade between the two nations was valued at Sh7 billion last year with Kenya holding the bigger share of Sh4.1 billion. Imports from Malawi stood at Sh2.98 billion during the same period.

Kenyan industrialists said earlier they are seeking new trade linkages that will allow them to establish joint ventures with Malawians, beating official and unofficial barriers to trade.

Source: Business Daily Newspaper.

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