Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will
expand by at least ten percent if all the Horn of Africa states join the World
Trade Organization (WTO), a senior Kenyan government official said on Monday.
Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for
Foreign Affairs told a media briefing in Nairobi that by acceding to the global
trade body, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan will be required to open
their economies to international trade.
“We therefore anticipate that Kenya
will benefit from more crossborder trade and hence its economy could expand
by at least ten percent,” Mohamed said during the opening ceremony of the
First Regional Dialogue on WTO accessions.
The three-day forum aims to mobilize
support for facilitating and accelerating African accessions to the WTO.
During the conference, government
officials from Somalia and South Sudan will receive a two-day practical training
on WTO Accessions during which they have an overview of the WTO accession
process and the substance of accession negotiations.
Mohamed noted that of the 21 countries
in the process of joining the WTO, eight are in Africa, four of which are in the
Horn of Africa region.
Mohamed said that intra-Africa trade
remains very low due to the numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers imposed by
many African states.
She said that WTO membership has
numerous benefits and requires countries to reform their laws and policies to
conform to international trade rules.