Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is losing at least Sh3.2 trillion per year in trade due to high tape bureaucracy
Road blocks, lengthy customs procedures and administrative requirements are some of barriers hindering free flow of trade in the region that has the potential to make at least Sh4.2 trillion per year
Currently, trade in the region stands at Sh1 trillion, this according to the Director, Trade and Customs and Monetary Affairs at COMESA Francis Mangeni.
‘’There is need for country member states to look into these issues, because sometimes we deal with one, then there arises other three non tariff barriers,” Mangeni said during a COMESA forum to address the matter.
A non tariff barrier is a form of restrictive trade measure where barriers to trade are set up and take a form other than a tariff.
Non-tariff barriers include quotas, levies, embargoes, sanctions and other restrictions, and are frequently used by large and developed economies.
Speaking in Nairobi, Kenya’s Industry, Trade and Co-operatives Principal Secretary Dr Chris Kiptoo said that a lot of investors doing cross-trade are experiencing challenges hence the need for sensitization of the border officials.
“Non-tariff barriers have contributed largely to the low level of intra regional trade which is estimated at 7 percent.
He explained that trade within the region is very low compared to other regions outside the continent.
Trade within East Africa is estimated to be 15 to 18 percent and as low as 10 percent in Africa.