KenTrade CEO Amos Wangora (second left) explains to Frank Grozel (left), Head of Business Facilitation at UNCTAD, Dr. Geoffrey Mwau (Director General-Budget, Fiscal & Economic Affairs at National Treasury) and Mr Frank Matsaert Chief Executive Officer, TradeMark East Africa how the new portal works

Kenya broke new grounds in international trade facilitation with the launch of Info Trade Kenya, an online portal that enables importers and exporters to quickly access all relevant information on all laws and trade procedures via link www.infotradekenya.go.ke

The portal is the latest value addition by the state agency, KenTrade, whose interventions in the challenges facing Kenya’s cross border and international trade is associated with Kenya’s rising performances in the World Bank’s annual global ranking which rate Kenya the third best transformed trade economy in Sub-Sahara Africa and 80th in the world in 2017.

The launch at Crowne Plaza Hotel Nairobi brought together the private and public sector, captains of the trade industry and the Partner Government Agencies, stakeholders and development partners from TradeMark East Africa, the World Bank Group, United Nations Conference for Development and Trade (UNCTAD). The launch of Info-Trade Kenya portal made Kenya the first country in East Africa to comply with article one of the World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement which is Transparency in export – import information.

The portal offers a step by step guide to international trade, administration procedures, agencies to visit, permits, and applicable fees among others.

Among the guests were Principal Secretary of Trade Dr Chris Kiptoo, Director General-Budget, Fiscal & Economic Affairs National Treasury Dr. Geoffrey Mwau who representated the National Treasury PS Dr Kamau Thugge, KenTrade Chairman Gen.Joseph Kibwana, Export Promotion Council CEO Mr.Peter Biwott, TradeMark East Africa CEO Mr.Frank Matsaert, Senior Trade Facilitation Specialist, Mr.Nzuki Mwania and UNCTAD Head of Business Facilitation, Mr. Frank Grozel.

PS Dr 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.”  KenTrade CEO Amos Wangora said “With this portal a trader will access all the relevant documentation requirements for imports and/or exports of their respective commodities from the comfort of their 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.”

Dr. Chris Kiptoo clarified that the InfoTrade Kenya platform was complimentary to the Kenya Trade Portal which was launched in October 2017 and which is aimed at promoting Kenyan suppliers to the international market by linking them to global traders.

“InfoTrade Kenya portal is intended to increase access to information on international trade procedures and regulations, cut back unwarranted penalties resulting from documentation errors and enhance trade efficiency,” said Dr.Kiptoo.