Professional Business Development Program
This program is geared towards promoting opportunities for professional services locally, regionally and internationally. It involves promotion of regional integration and lobbying for policy change in order to facilitate export of professional Services. This programs includes creating local capacity for professional services which involve capacity building. Some of the initiatives under this program are;
A. Launch of East African Common Market Protocol
The Ministry of East Africa Community engaged and partnered with APSEA to sensitize its members on the Common Market Protocol among the professionals. As a result of these efforts APSEA has been fully integrated into all trade policy formulation in the Kenya EPA national negotiating team, KEPLOTRADE, GATs among others.
APSEA has been a member of the High Level Task Force negotiation the East African Common Market Protocol since 2006 represented by an APSEA Executive Member Mr. Vincent Oluoch who played a significant role in the negotiations through to the coming in to force of the East African Common Market Protocol on 1st July 2010.
APSEA also lobbied the Ministry of East African Community to abolish requirements for work permits for East African professionals seeking to work in Kenya. Following APSEA’s efforts His Excellency the President while launching the common market protocol directed the Ministry of immigration to waive work permit fees for all East Africans seeking employment in Kenya.
B. APSEA engagement with the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)
APSEA with the support of BAF organized sensitization workshops for APSEA Corporate Members on the development of Mutual Recognition Agreements. APSEA has been made linkages with the ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Trade to ensure Professional Bodies within APSEA develop and negotiate Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with Professional Bodies in other partner states.
D. Services Exchange and Exhibition in Rwanda
APSEA partnered with Export Promotion Council to organize the first-ever Kenya- Rwanda bilateral event of Trade in Professional Services which is intended to bring together our respective professionals and related stakeholders to collaborate and partner with one another through this unique initiative of a Services Exhibition and Business Exchange Forum in Kigali.
Among the main objectives of APSEA’s participation in the First-Ever Services Exhibition and Business Exchange Programme in Kigali, Rwanda, is to seek to meet with the representatives of professional organizations in Rwanda with a view to forging not only lasting business relationships but also to work together and with the aid of our respective national governments to identify an eliminate the current and potential barriers to trade in services between Kenya and Rwanda.
Trade in Services has become a critical component of international Trade. While the trade in goods has received reasonable attention and promotion among the East African economies, the Services component which accounts for over 50% of the GDP in each of the East African Community economies has not received commensurate treatment especially in business promotion.
The date for the mission was postponed to try and align to the schedule of the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in charge of trade.
F. APSEA’s involvement and participation in Regional Trade in Services, including the TMP
Over the last 2 years, APSEA has been intensely involved with regional initiatives to foster Trade in Professional services
One such initiative is APSEA’s Involvement in the World Bank funded Talent Mobility Programme (TMP), which is a pilot project involving 12 African countries in three (3) regional economic blocs including the EAC, SADEC and ECOWAS. Whose objective is to identify and mitigate the challenges of free mobility of Professionals and Professional Services in Africa. In the EAC, the three pilot countries are Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
The Project is administered by the Regional Multi-Disciplinary Centre of Excellence (based in Mauritius through Country (National) Consultants (RMCE). I am glad to inform you that Kenya’s national Consultant to the Project is a member of one of the APSEAs standing committees the Professional Business and Development. APSEA is represented by two officers by CS. Samson Kibii and Mr. Vincent Oluoch in the Talent Mobility Program and I would like to thank them for the good work they continue to do, in representing the association and our interests.
Other sectors represented are the Ministry of Education, State Department for Labour; State Department for Immigration and the National Treasury as well as State Department for the EAC Integration and The state Department for International Trade.
The Programme is now in its 2nd Year of implementation and reports of its findings shall be shared for your information
APSEA sought a US $ 10,000 grant from the World Bank through the RMCE to support a key capacity challenge in APSEA which has the potential to increase its capability to serve its members more effectively. The grant was given for an upgrade of the APSEA Website into a Knowledge Management Portal.
C. APSEA’s involvement in Trade and EAC integration
APSEA has been working closely with various Government ministries in matters of Trade in services. We have been working closely with the Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection, The State Department of EAC Integration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. We continue to engage on several other issues including but not limited to the implementation of National level interventions for the Common Market Protocol.
APSEA attended the launch of the EAC Common Market Protocol scorecard 2016 report in Kampala on 27th October 2016. The report indicated that little progress has been made since the launch of the scorecard report in 2014 and professionals need to make key recommendations on improvement for the next report.
The State Department of EAC Integration invited APSEA to a workshop on 8th November at KICC to build capacity of all focal point officers in Kenya on the integration process and strategies of re-engineering Kenya’s engagement in the EAC for optimization of benefits from the Integration process and hoe negotiations should be conducted more effectively. We impressed upon the meeting the need for professional services to be involved as the sector contributes well over 50% of the economy's GDP.
APSEA was invited by the East Africa Business Council (EABC) and the EAC Secretariat to attend a GIZ sponsored workshop held in Dares Salaam from Wednesday 16th to Friday 18th November 2016. The discussions revolved around leveraging on the Common Market to increase Trade in Services by creating competitive East African Business.
E. APSEA’s Involvement in the WTO activities
APSEA has also been actively involved in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) activities. WTO recognizes Trade in Services as an important component of Trade and has instituted in each WTO member State a National Committee on Trade in Services. I would like to report to this forum that APSEA has been chairing this National Committee on Trade in Services in Kenya.
In October this year APSEA attended the WTO General Assembly of the General Agreement of Trade in Services (GATS), in Geneva, whose agenda was centered on the promotion of trade in services and elimination of barriers of trade in services.
On 15th to 18th November Mr. Oluoch attended a workshop to deliberate on Trade In Business Services for COMESA Member States in Zimbabwe. The workshop also focused on building capacity of officers dealing with the free movement of business persons by helping the officers to understand the national regulations during negotiations.
G. APSEA’s involvement in the National Trade Facilitation Committee
APSEA has been invited into a 52-member National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) – a powerful organ of trade facilitation in Kenya whose role is to identify the bottlenecks in trade in both goods and services as envisaged under the provisions of the WTO TFA (Trade Facilitation agreement) and the Marrakesh Agreement .
On 16th September 2016 the Cabinet Secretary for International Trade established and Gazetted the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NTFC) pursuant to the Marrakesh Agreement and Article 23 of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). I am glad to inform you this evening, that APSEA was gazetted as one of the members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee.
H. APSEA’s Involvement in the National Export Strategy
APSEA continues to be the key contact with the Ministry of Trade in matters related to professional services and as a result APSEA expanded its mandate to include the promotion of export of services from and within the region.
APSEA has been participating in the Kenya National Export Strategy (NES) Sector Working Groups. The NES Committee has been mandated to identify Kenya’s Priority sectors for the development of their export potential. The services sector, especially the Professional Services Sector had been identified as a key area for the development of the National Export Strategy for the export of services, first within the region and then internationally. Ms. Gladys Kamau has been representing APSEA in the consultative meetings.