Traders in Kenya stand to benefit from increased efficiency following launch of the Information for Trade in Kenya web portal (infotradekenya.go.ke), which has consolidated more than 120 documents and procedures required for import and export business in Kenya on one online platform.
The portal is estimated to serve at least 1.5 million users per month and consolidates 73 documents under exports, 52 under imports and one under transits (cross border trade) thus ensuring a shorter period in the export and import processes.
“The InfoTrade Kenya portal is part of the Government’s initiative to facilitate trade in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation, to which Kenya is a signatory and obliges governments to be transparent and to provide information to businesses.”
Dr. Kamau Thugge, Principal Secretary, National Treasury – Kenya
Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) implemented the portal with financial support of approx. US Dollars 498,000 from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through TradeMark East Africa (TMEA). The portal provides step-by-step guidelines and contacts on the procedures and documents required by a trader seeking to import or export various commodities from Kenya. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) provided technical assistance.
Presiding over the launch, the National Treasury Principal Secretary, Dr. Kamau Thugge said, “The InfoTrade Kenya portal is part of the Government’s initiative to facilitate trade in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation, to which Kenya is a signatory and obliges governments to be transparent and to provide information to businesses,” said Dr. Thugge.
He explained that the Government has been at the forefront in streamlining international trade procedures through the implementation of National Electronic Single Window System also known as KENYA TRADENET that has seen improvement of Kenya’s rating in the latest World Bank Ease of Business Index. Kenya advanced by 12 points to position 80, emerging third in Sub Saharan Africa after Rwanda and Mauritius in the Trading Across Borders category.
Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade, Dr. Chris Kiptoo who also attended the event noted that the InfoTradeKenya platform was complimentary to the Kenya Trade Portal which was launched in October 2017. The latter, he clarified, is aimed at promoting Kenyan suppliers to the international market by linking them to global traders.
On the other hand, the InfoTrade Kenya portal was intended to increase access to information on international trade procedures and regulations, cut back unwarranted penalties resulting from documentation errors and enhance trade efficiency. Dr. Kiptoo said that the two portals will be integrated in order to offer seamless information to traders.
Also speaking at the launch KENTRADE CEO Mr. Amos Wangora said, “If you are a trader, the portal will enable you to access all the relevant documentation requirements for imports and/or exports of your respective commodities from the comfort of your office or place of business. Our aim is to boost Kenya’s efforts to become a globally competitive player in the overall share of trade in the world.”