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Dancers perform during the Kenya Trade Week event | Coastweek
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Dancers perform a traditional dance during the Kenya Trade Week event and National Trade Policy launch in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, July 10, 2017. Kenya on Monday launched a National Trade Policy that aims to boost the country's foreign exchange earnings, a senior official said. XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO
Kenya launches national trade policy to boost forex earnings

By Ronald Njoroge, Chrispinus Omar NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Monday launched a National Trade Policy that aims to boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings, a senior official said Monday.

The new policy adds impetus to the robust trade policy reforms that the country has pursued under regional and multilateral trade arrangements.

“The new trade policy articulates provisions that are geared toward promoting efficiency in the growth of domestic trade through transformational measures that address the constraints impeding against the development of the wholesale, retail and informal sectors,” said National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.

Speaking during the opening of the Kenya Trade Week, Rotich said currently most of foreign exchange earnings are from foreign direct investments.

“The national trade policy will help to increase volume of exports so that we increase foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

He said the policy will provide a coordinated approach on how the government addresses trade issues in order to improve the business climate for Kenyan manufacturers.

Rotich said that the policy will help reverse the recent trend where the pace of growth of imports is growing faster than the growth of exports.

“This is putting a lot of pressure on the Kenyan shilling as importers need foreign currency to buy imports,” he said.

Industry and Trade Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed said this will contribute to strengthening of regional integration and will in turn anchor Kenya as a dependable and predictable trading partner.

Mohammed said trade policy was launched at a time when the global trade landscape is facing emerging challenges. Over 70 percent of global trade is made up of manufactured goods.

  Adan Mohammed, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary | Coastweek
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Adan Mohammed, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives speaks during the Kenya Trade Week event and National Trade Policy launch in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, July 10, 2017. Kenya on Monday launched a National Trade Policy that aims to boost the country's foreign exchange earnings, a senior official said. XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO

“Intra-Africa trade averages about 12 percent whilst Kenya’s share of both the global pie as well as in Africa has been facing serious bottlenecks leading to a huge balance of trade deficit with most of our trading partner,” said Mohammed.

The East African nation’s trade imbalance has been increasing in the past decade largely driven by demand for manufactured goods that are imported.

Rotich said that trade imbalance is a serious issue that the government wants to address. He noted that the manufacturing sector presents the best hope for Kenya to increase its exports.

The government data indicates that the manufacturing sector contributes about 10 percent of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“We plans to double the figure to 20 percent in the next five years by implementing a number of measures,” Rotich said.

Besides the policy, the Kenyan government also launched the Buy Kenya Build Kenya Strategy; Guidelines for Kenya’s Trade and Investment Missions; the National Export Development and Promotion Strategy for Kenya 2017-2022; the National E-Trade portal; The National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC); and The State Department for Trade Website.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Nairobi bourse turnover down on declining foreign trading

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Some 9.4 million shares worth 2.3 million U.S. dollars were traded at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on Monday as the bourse started the week on a low due to stifled foreign investors’ participation.

The market had on Friday last week transacted 9.5 million dollars on a volume of 44 million shares. Foreign investors’ participation during the session stood at 40 percent down from 74 percent last week.

Insurance firm Britam was the top traded stock transacting a paltry 3 million shares at 0.14 dollars, a marginal decline.

Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecom was the second most traded stock moving 2.5 million shares at unchanged price of 0.23 dollars.

Other top traded stocks were investment firm ICDC, Kenya Airways and Home Afrika moving 800,000, 600,000 and 500,000 shares respectively. The five top shares accounted for 87 of Monday’s total turnover.

The NSE 20 Share Index went down 9.65 points, losing an upward trend recorded in the past two sessions, to end the day at 3,594.41.

On the other hand, the NSE All share Index (NASI) was down 0.12 points to close at 152.12 points.

At the secondary bond market, turnover rose significantly to 263 percent to stand at 44 million dollars from 1 million dollars in the previous session.

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