Kenya on Wednesday launched the National Trade Negotiations Council (NTNC) to handle bilateral, regional and multilateral trade talks.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Chris Kiptoo told a media briefing in Nairobi that the National Committee on World Trade Organization (NCWTO) has been providing the institutional framework for trade consultations and negotiations at the national level.
"This framework worked well but only catered for the multilateral trade negotiations. The framework did not cover regional and bilateral trade though both processes benefited from the existence of the NCWTO," Kiptoo said.
The council will also be responsible for advising the government on all trade matters related to the East African Community-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement as well as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, he said.
Kiptoo said the need to strengthen human and institutional capacity for bodies involved in trade development, promotion and negotiations compelled the government to transform the NCWTO into the NTNC.
"The trade council is expected to explore how best to improve the country's trade negotiating capacity by utilizing the talents within the various government institutions to the advantage of the country," he added.
(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2017)