Kenya launches National E-Trade Portal

By Barbara Ndiba

In a bid to promote the buy Kenya build Kenya has been given a boost with the launch of online trade portal aimed at promoting trade and improving the ease of doing business.

The National Trade Negotiations Council and Kenya National E-Trade Portal will stimulate business decision making through real time trade facilitation information and expand Kenya’s export product portfolio.

Trade Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed said the portal will have information on opportunities existing internationally easing trade processes by among others providing crucial trade information including applicable tariffs, available markets as well as create linkages between the local business community and foreign traders.

The National Trade Negotiations Council is charged with handling all Kenya’s Trade negotiations at Bilateral, Regional and Multi lateral level following its adoption by the national trade policy  adopted by cabinet in 2016

The Ministry of Trade yesterday launched a one-stop trade portal that provides market place information for both local and international trade.

This portal is expected to expand market for local traders and service providers while bringing convenience for buyers who will now access market information like commodity prices at a click of a button.

It is also expected to cut out middlemen from the trade chain. Information in the portal is provided my multi-sectional stakeholders including KNBS, Council of Governors, Kebs, KRA, KAM, Kephis, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, Retail Traders Association among others.

Speaking while unveiling the portal, dubbed Kenya trade portal, Cabinet Secretary Trade and Industrialisation Adan Mohamed said it will have information ranging from products available in the country, licensing requirements in the counties, wholesale and retail markets as well as licensed traders who could be targeted by manufacturers for distribution throughout the country.

“The portal serves as a platform through which counties can promote intra-county trade through sharing information on goods available at county level and where the goods can be sourced. Through the portal, county governments have a cost-free medium of promoting trade through sharing information on county markets where products from the counties can be sourced.” Cabinet secretary Adan Mohamed said.

He added that the portal provides an opportunity for traders across the globe to view Kenyan suppliers of goods and services and to pursue deals through interactions with specific companies that are profiled to the global limelight.

”This portal give Kenyans an opportunity to showcase their products and services to the world. It is my wish that they will use it to maximize on the country’s exports. It is now time to export other products apart from traditional tea, coffee and flowers,” said Mohamed.

He explained the foundation fact behind this portal was that Kenya imports are three times higher than the exports leading to a huge trade deficit, and this portal will ensure that Kenya and the Kenyan products have a marketing platform.

At the same time, the ministry launched the National Trade Negotiation Council to handle all Kenya’s trade negotiations at bilateral, regional and multilateral level. This launch came about from the national trade policy adopted by the Cabinet in December 2016.

The council is expected to analyze the impact of all trade agreements on the Kenyan economy, examine Kenya’s commitments at the World Trade Organization, prepare for the country’s scheduled six-yearly trade policy reviews at the WTO secretariat in Geneva and to provide an internal dispute resolution mechanism. Members of this council are drawn from both government and private institutions