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Daily Nation : February 14th 2014
DAILY NATION Friday February 14, 2014 REGIONAL TRADE| President Kenyatta appeals to Comesa to grant country extra time Kenya seeks more sugar safeguards Bloc secretary-general says country has a high chance of getting request at a meeting this month BY RAMENYA GIBENDI @ramenyag firstname.lastname@example.org sugar safety net, the bloc’s secretary-general Sindiso Ndema has said. The Common Market for K Eastern and Southern Africa secretary-general said the country’s request is to be discussed in the upcoming summit scheduled for later this month in Kinshasa. Mr Ndema spoke during a meeting with President Kenyatta after the latter appealed to enya stands a high chance of being granted another extension of the Comesa the trading bloc to extend the protectionist measures for the sake of cane farmers. “Cheap sugar imports at this time do not augur well for our cane farmers. A little more time will help address the issues that have bogged down the industry,” the President said. Kenya was first granted protec- tion from the 19-member trading bloc in March 2002 — for one year — to February 2003 which was again extended upon expiry for another year. Due for expiry The second phase of four years was granted in March 2004 — only to be extended for another two years after their lapse in 2008. The third extension is now due for expiry on February 28. The government has, how- ever, initiated efforts to have another two-year extension, a PHOTO | PSCU President Uhuru Kenyatta with Comesa secretary general Sindiso Ndema Ngwenya when he called on him at State House, Nairobi yesterday. move that Comesa regards as technically difficult, but politically possible. “A fifth extension would not merit on technical grounds... Such an extension is, however, possible at a political level,” reads a Comesa safeguard implementation status report in part. According to the Trade Rem- edy Regulations under the World Trade Organisation, said the report, Kenya has exceeded the maximum allowable safeguard duration of 10 years. Mr Ndema expressed opti- mism that Kenya’s request for an extension would be granted, underlining the possibility that the country would benefit from political goodwill. The country’s sugar industry is besieged by numerous challenges that range from high operation costs; poor cane quality and infiltration of illegal sugar imports that make it hard for local millers to operate profitably. A fifth extension would not merit on technical grounds” Comesa Business News 37 CMA gears to launch its master plan BY NATION REPORTER A regulator has entered the final stage of rolling out a capital markets master plan blueprint for the industry in Kenya. The Capital Markets Author- ity (CMA) initiative projects that through implementation of recommendations, equity market capitalisation will rise to 53 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in short term; 60 per cent in the medium term and 70 per cent in the long term. As part of the initiative, the regu- lator held a consultative forum with key industry players. Play a key role While addressing the session, CMA acting chief executive, Mr Paul Muthaura, said the 10-year master plan is expected to play a critical role in positioning Kenya at the heart of the African capital markets, and supporting the attainment of the Nairobi international financial centre as envisaged in Vision 2030 economic blueprint. The master plan was developed after an extensive consultative process with its recommendations being largely market-driven. Authority chairman Kung’u Ga- tabaki said stakeholders have been involved at every point to secure the requisite buy-in and support over the last 16 months.
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