President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, addressed a forum of businessmen from the two countries.
The two leaders in unison championed free-flowing trade between the two countries.
Their address was dominated by trade, international relations, tourism, governance, and industrialisation.
Suluhu noted that the private sector is key in ensuring regional development while opening up employment opportunities, open up labour markets and unleash entrepreneurial spirits.
"These aspects can only be realised if businesses are operating in conducive environments, and it is up to our two governments to create these environments to facilitate growth of the private sector through good legislation, transparent and predictable tax systems, and existence of a good business climate," President Suluhu stated.
She added that the Tanzanian government is revising some of its laws on immigration, such as requirements for work permits for foreign expatriates so as to create a conducive environment for foreign businesses.
The Tanzanian Head of State noted that her government has moved to remove nuisance taxes and levies, among other charges that discourage trade.
She stated that her government is locked in on a series of initiatives to improve the business environment in Tanzania. This includes reduction of taxes, government investment in industrial parks, revision of industrial policies.
"Tanzania has invested in mega projects in infrastructure such as roads, ports, railways, airports and generation of energy. The aim is to reduce the cost of production and that of doing business with the major purpose of creating an enabling environment for business prosperity and investor confidence," President Suluhu stated.
She noted that the trade numbers in the previous years have not been as good as they should be, hoping that they increase in the future.
Suluhu further proceeded to urge the two countries to support and develop the tourism industry.
She noted that Tanzania has an abundance of tourism attractions, urging business people and companies from the countries to venture into business opportunities presented by the attractions.
The Tanzanian Head of State urged the business quorum to mark the start of objective economic co-relation between the two countries.
She assured me that her government is more than ready to welcome the Kenyan business community into Tanzanian borders.
President Kenyatta reiterated that Kenya and Tanzania enjoy cordial relations dating back to the pre-colonial days, and continue to be partners in various economic sectors.
He noted that the two countries are among the three founding members of the East African Community.
President Kenyatta stated that trade between Kenya and Tanzania which was valued at Ksh54 billion in 2020, reflects challenges, that need to be urgently addressed.
President Kenyatta and President Suluhu directed the trade ministers of the two countries to meet in the next four weeks and resolve all tariffs hindering free-flowing trade.
President Kenyatta assured Suluhu that his government is ready to work with her government for the development of the two countries.
He stated that a partnership between the two countries in developing industries both in the public and private sectors would create employment, and position the region as an investment destination.
President Suluhu revealed that Kenya is the fifth largest investor in Tanzania.
"Tanzanian businessmen, you have the right to come and do your business here in Kenya without a visa or passport or work permit, as long as you follow the law," President Kenyatta assured.