Kenyan manufacturers seek COMESA’s support to stop counterfeits
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has urged COMESA to consider establishing a institution to deal with counterfeits and dumping in the regional market.
At a meeting between COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe and the KAM team led by Acting CEO of KAM Mr Tobias Alando, they expressed concern that counterfeits and dumping constituted a large segment of goods traded in the region
“About 40% of manufactured goods in the market in Kenya are counterfeits,” Mr Job Wanjohi, Head of Policy. Research and Advocacy at KAM, said.
The KAM team requested COMESA to consider coming up with an institution to deal with counterfeits and dumping as these were likely to distort the regional market if not addressed. They cited the establishment of the COMESA Competition Commission as a successful initiative that could be emulated in the fight against counterfeits and dumping.
The resolution of a longstanding non tariff barrier whereby Kenya milk and edible oils are barred from entering the Zambian market was also discussed. They agreed that in addition to the ongoing initiatives to address the matter at technical level, there was need to bring on a around table, the private sector players from both countries to discuss the matter as well.
Other issues of concern raise by the KAM was the need for a solution on double taxation and gaps in the COMESA Rules of Origin. KAM observed that the rules of origin left room for misuse, especially on what constitutes value addition for products not originating from the region to meet the criteria of a locally produced product.
Meanwhile, the COMESA team paid a courtesy call on the Executive Director, Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), Dr Rose Ngugi. The two agreed to explore how COMESA and KIPPRA could collaborate, at institutional level, in capacity building and advocating for local think-tanks.
Dr. Ngugi noted that regional economic communities were not adequately utilizing local policy think-tanks in addressing some of the pertinent issues in regional integration.