Kenya, Germany vote for non-tariff barriers

William Ruto

President William Ruto with his Germany counterpart, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, after inspecting a Guard of Honour at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin yesterday.

Photo credit: PCS

Kenya and Germany have pledged to prioritise elimination of non-tariff barriers to boost trade between the two countries.

This, they said, will reduce the costs of doing business and ease movement of goods and services.

Speaking in Germany on Monday, President William Ruto said the removal of non-tariff barriers will also enhance investments by German businesses in Kenya.

“This will improve the balance of trade that is currently in favour of Germany,” said Dr Ruto at Schloss Bellevue, Berlin, where he was hosted by his German counterpart, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Earlier in Potsdamer Platz, Dr Ruto invited German businessmen to invest in Kenya’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, saying that Kenya stands to benefit from the world’s most experienced, organised and resourced German establishments.

He made the remarks when he met Dr Markus Jerger, the Chairman of Der Mittelstand-German Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW).

President Ruto noted that the government is committed under its bottom up economic transformation agenda to support small enterprises to grow.

“That is why we have put more than Sh50 billion in the Hustler Fund to provide affordable credit to millions of Kenyans who depend on the MSME sector for a living,” he said.

The BVMW represents the interests of more than 3.3 million individual enterprises in Germany, with Dr Jerger noting that there are huge opportunities for German businessmen in Kenya’s value addition programme. 

The call to German multinationals to invest their resources in the country was emphasised during the Germany-Kenya Business Forum at Haus der Wirtschaft in Berlin, with President Ruto saying that the country is stable with a vibrant and friendly environment to trade and invest.

“We have a robust environment with an open and business-friendly regulatory regime,” he said. This, he added, has been underpinned by a strong reputation for the rule of law.

He told the Forum that the country is ready to partner with businesses, especially in areas of renewable energy, infrastructure, digital economy, housing and agriculture.

“Investing in Kenya will offer enterprises access to the EAC, COMESA, the Tripartite Free Trade Area and AfCFTA markets of 1.4 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion,” said Dr Ruto.