Kenya and the United Kingdom on Tuesday finalized the signing of a strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
The post-Brexit trade pact was signed in London by Kenya’s Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina and British International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena.
Under the agreement, companies operating in Kenya including British businesses will continue to enjoy duty-free, quota-free access to the expansive UK market.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, CS Maina said the new deal will secure market access for exports from the East African Community (EAC)
“We have agreed on a comprehensive package of benefits that will ensure a secure, long term and predictable market access for exports originating from the EAC free trade area,” CS Maina noted.
On his part, Jayawardena said: “Today’s agreement is also the first step towards a regional agreement with the East African Community, and I look forward to working with other members to secure an agreement to forge ever-closer trading ties.”
Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu termed the trade agreement between the two nations as historic.
“Kenya and the UK have signed the historic trade agreement, securing its 5th largest trading market Post-Brexit.”
“This is about securing and protecting Kenya’s £2 billion ecosystems of trade with the UK on which hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of livelihoods depend,” Esipisu noted.
Kenya’s exports to the UK dropped slightly from Sh40.2 billion in 2018 to Sh40.1 billion last year while imports grew to Sh35.3 billion.
Kenya mainly exports tea, coffee, and horticultural products to the UK with the country accounting for 27 percent of the fresh produce and 56 percent of the black tea market in the UK.
On the other hand, motor vehicles, printed materials, machinery, and chemicals form the bulk of imports from the UK.