PUBLISHED ON March 6th, 2015

Local manufacturers losing EAC market to China firms

Kenyan manufacturers are losing the East African market to Chinese and Indian firms, the World Bank said on Thursday.

he bank said the share of manufactured goods imported by East African Community (EAC) countries from Kenya declined to seven per cent in 2013 from nine per cent four years earlier.

Data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that exports to Uganda and Tanzania dipped last year by 6.5 per cent underlining the growing trend.

“These changes are significant because almost 40 per cent of Kenya’s manufacturing exports go to the EAC,” the bank says in a new report focusing on manufacturing.

Some of the Kenyan products which have lost the export market include plastics, chemicals and paper.

Companies have attributed the drop in exports to setting up of subsidiaries by manufacturers in the region to make what was previously exported from Kenya.

However, the World Bank has pointed to cheaper products from India and China as a source of the shift.

The competitiveness of Kenyan exports is said to be slowly declining.

In 2013 the country’s exports represented 0.02 per cent of global manufacturing exports down from 0.06 per cent in 1994 and 0.18 per cent in the 1980s.

Source: Business Daily

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