Britain has announced support for Kenya’s foreign trade and export strategy through a £21 million funding through the Trade Mark East Africa, with an objective of growing Kenya’s external export account.
The Export Development and Promotion Strategy that was unveiled by Deputy President William Ruto, along with several other recent initiatives in the trade sector, is seen as an important step in unlocking Kenya’s trade potential, sustaining growth and creating jobs in line with Vision 2030 and the Big 4 Agenda.
Ms Susie Kitchens, the deputy British High Commissioner to Kenya noted that UK, along with other international partners, has been working closely with the Government of Kenya to explore opportunities to implement the new strategy.
“Kenya remains a key trade partner for the UK, with total UK/Kenya trade at approximately 133 billion Kenya Shillings (£1 billion) annually. Our trading relationship with Kenya is important to our Ministers: both the International Development Secretary and Trade Minister have visited Kenya this year to underline that,” noted Kitchens.
“Over half the tea we drink in the UK comes from Kenya, Ms Kitchens added,” And as a nation of tea drinkers, we are keen to keep it that way. Similarly Kenyan roses dominate the UK market, and make many Brits happy on Valentine’s Day.”
She said her country was keen to maintain the trading relatonship with Kenya even after UK leaves Europe after the implementation of Brexit statutes.
The Implementation Period will enable Kenyan exports to continue to enter the UK without any tariffs or quotas, protecting markets for those important flowers, tea and other exports. And we are working with Kenya to maintain trading arrangements under a range of negotiating scenarios with the EU. We want to provide the strongest possible platform to deepen our trade relationships in the future.”
British has been losing a share of Kenyan produce as Kenya tilts its focus to other players mainly in the Asian region, something that concerns Ms Kitchens. She notes that for Kenya to maintain a share of UK market, it needs to diversify on their product range.
” Recent analysis shows that Kenya’s share of the UK market has been declining since 2008. Fortunately this is not because my compatriots are drinking any less tea or giving any less thought to Valentine’s Day. Instead it is mainly due to competition from Kenya’s peers and neighbours, who produce and export similar products to the UK.”