Brexit offers Kenya an opportunity to devise UK-specific export, negotiate beneficial trade deals

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The Principal Secretary, State Department for Trade, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Dr. Chris Kiptoo, today launched the Kenya-UK Trade and Investment Relations Report produced jointly by UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) and Kenya’s Export Promotion Council (EPC).

The report highlights the current state of trade patterns and investment flows between the UK and Kenya, develops tools and helps identify key products and promising sectors for export from Kenya to UK. It also proposes a range of policy measures to support these sectors in a bid to increase trade and business linkages between Kenya and the UK.

Speaking at a breakfast session held to launch the report, Dr. Chris Kiptoo said, “This report recognises the special trade and investment relationship between Kenya and the UK. It provides specific guidelines on things that we need to do and offers a model for trade relations that we can use to improve trade and exports for every other country. The upcoming Kenya Trade Week and Exposition will provide a forum to discuss all the important issues relating to trade such our National Export Strategy, measures to improve market access and competitiveness and implementation of the strategy.”

The PS urged all stakeholders in the private and public sector to attend the upcoming Kenya Trade Week event in order to create a strong focus for enhancing trade and working towards the Big 4 Agenda to achieve prosperity for all Kenyans.

Presenting the report, DFID’s Lead Researcher Dr. Dirk Willem te Velde, said, “Kenya can develop new ‘sunrise’ products such as leather and textiles to increase high value exports to UK. A focus on improving international market access, investing in trade-related infrastructure and strengthening domestic policies in relation to development of economic zones will improve Kenya’s investment climate and export performance.”

The CEO, Export Promotion Council Mr. Peter Biwott reiterated that the study will spur Kenya’s exports to the U.K enhancing foreign exchange earnings to Kenya. He urged the private sector to take advantage of the study and increase exports to the U.K market. The study will be replicated to other potential markets in the continent and in the rest of the world.

The report hails Kenya as a strong diplomatic partner for the UK in Africa. It also highlights the opportunity offered by Brexit to devise UK-specific export targets and market penetration strategies by negotiating beneficial trade deals with the UK to boost processed and manufactured exports. Brexit also offers an opportunity for reorienting and refining of Kenyan exports to the UK in order to more deliberately diversify in the UK as a high income market.

The report brings out specific measures that need to be undertaken for improving Kenya’s export competitiveness and investment promotion. These are expected to be the focus of discussions during the upcoming Kenya Trade Week and Exposition to be held from 30th July to 1st August 2018.

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Chris is a digital nomad and travel the country while freelancing and blogging. Rest assured, his job is always his first priority.