Kenyan flower growers will be banking on the recently formed working committee, to thrash out tariff issues with China, possibly easing their entry into the world’s largest market.
Last week, Kenya and China formed a technical work group that will oversee the withdrawal of the four per cent duty on most Kenyan exports to China. If successful, this will allow flower growers to tap into the growing Chinese market and boost the earnings of the sector, as part of the country's effort to diversify its markets.
“We are going to have the first meeting next January with China and we hope to have completed negotiations by the end of February. Our target is to do away with this four per cent tariff to make our products competitive,” Kenya’s Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said.
In July 2010, China removed tariffs charged on 60 per cent of the goods that it imports from Kenya and 32 of other developing countries but retained the levy on cut flowers.
Beijing and Nairobi also signed a memorandum of understating to drive exports of over 40 per cent of Kenya's fresh produce to the Chinese market that has over 1.3 billion consumers.