, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 27- Kenya and Zambia have just concluded the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC) negotiations that will see the two countries increase volumes of trade between them.
The two countries are planning to open trade barriers that will see specific goods from Zambia access Kenyan market and vice versa.
Speaking after the two day session of the ninth JPCC in Nairobi on Saturday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed noted that despite the long relationship between Kenya and Zambia, the trade remained very low.
“We have had the issues of technical barrier to trade, where some products that would have sold very easily in the Zambian market as well as the Kenyan market have been excluded because of the barriers that we have had. We are not doing too well and that is the best reason we are having this meetings,” Mohamed noted.
At the moment the trade between Kenya and Zambia stands $70million worth of exports in Zambia and about $50million exports into Kenya.
“As you can see, we are not doing well at all because we should be talking of billions of dollars which is not the case at the moment. But with this kind of negations and cooperation we will get there,” she said.
Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba announced plans to immediately constitute a committee of experts from both countries to deliberate over matters relating to trade.
“Zambia and Kenya have had a very close and long relationship and it is high time we had tangible solutions to issues that are affecting our trade volumes,” Kalaba said.
Other areas of cooperation will include security, energy sector, tourism and sports.
On security the two countries have agreed to enhance their joint efforts of safeguarding security, common values and other fundamental interest of the continent including the fight against piracy, money laundering as well as human and drug trafficking.
On matters of energy, the two countries are looking at sharing experiences in the field of renewable energy generation, energy technologies such as geothermal power stations, hydro-power stations, biofuel as well as solar.
The tourism sector was also identified as an area with enormous potential for cooperation. In this regard the two countries have proposed that consultations at sectoral level be held to identify areas of cooperation.
The two Ministers also agreed on the collaborations in the area of sports and development particularly with regard to exchange of coaches, sports administrators and the training of athletes.
CS Mohamed announced that President Uhuru Kenyatta will be visiting Zambia in July for further discussions on how to implement some of the agreements.