STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMB. LAZARUS O. AMAYO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF KENYA TO THE UNITED NATIONS DURING THE INFORMAL INTERRACTIVE DIALOGUE ON COMMODITY MARKETS
NEW YORK, 15TH MAY 2019
I thank the President of the General Assembly for organizing this dialogue. My delegation appreciates the timing as I believe the outcome will feed into other debates and intergovernmental negotiations, including the high-level political declaration to be discussed soon.
From the onset, I align my remarks to statement delivered by the representative of the State of Palestine on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and the statement delivered by the representative of Senegal on behalf of the African Group.
Export of commodities in primary form continue to fetch low prices and although Kenya as an agricultural country enjoys a comparative advantage in the production of various agricultural commodities, there is stiff competition from low producer markets. This, coupled with price volatility and declining demand in traditional markets, has complicated the situation.
In this regard, my government has set in place policy framework and regulation to promote agriculture and manufacturing as a way of diversifying the economy. Focus is being put on value addition to the agricultural products and other raw materials as a way of reducing vulnerabilities to external shocks and to create buffers against commodity price shocks.
There is also intensified efforts to reduce reliance on outside markets to supply commodities that can be locally produced and manufactured. This will contribute to creating more employment locally, reduce pressure on local currency and contribute to reducing poverty.
Our current industrial policy emphasizes transforming of traditional export products to fetch competitive prices in the international market. The government has established industrial and technology parks to catalyze innovation and value addition.We have measures aimed at promoting diversification of the export base and moving away from the focus on traditional exports.
Madam President, Excellencies,
Early in 2018, the government of Kenya identified four priority areas to focus on in a five-year period. These are Manufacturing, food security and nutrition, housing and affordable health care as part of fast-tracking implementation of both SDGs and vision 2030.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While recognizing that most developing countries are commodity-dependent, my delegation takes this opportunity to welcome establishment of Africa Free Trade Area and believe that it will spur intra-regional commodity exchanges including value addition, industrial and value-added jobs, promote interconnectivity, and infrastructure development.
Regional investment opportunities remain to be exploited in multiple sectors, including primary commodities, agriculture, trade, manufacturing, health, infrastructure and energy. We have in place regional integration bodies to serve as a launch pad for investment in various sectors. Private capital flows have become a vital source of finance for development.
We also note the need to address failure by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) to create an intergovernmental tax governing body that would be more democratic and inclusive than the current tax architecture, which would also contribute towards a policy regime that promotes stability, predictability and incentives for investments to thrive.
We look forward to a fruitful outcome out of this session
I thank you.