The United States has overtaken Uganda to become the largest market for Kenyan goods, according to a report by Business Daily.
Citing official data, the publication reported that Kenya’s exports to the US grew by 47 percent to Sh38.8 billion in the first half of the year, ending Uganda’s 10-year dominance as the leading export destination for Kenya-made goods.
In the period under review, Ugandan consumers bought Sh36.2 billion worth of Kenyan goods down from Sh36.3 billion in the same period last year.
Kenya and the US are currently in negotiations for a fully-fledged free trade agreement (FTA) that will serve as a benchmark for future trade engagements between the US and other African countries.
In July, Kenya and the US agreed on 10 key areas of collaboration including agriculture, anti-corruption, digital economy, environment, climate change, transparency, good regulatory practices, MSMEs, workers’ rights and youth and women participation.
Kenya is keen to ink a trade deal with the US ahead of the expiry of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) in 2025. AGOA gives Kenya and 40 other sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US market for over 6,000 products.
The country exported Sh59.6 billion worth of goods to the US in 2021, mainly apparel, macadamia nuts, coffee, tea and titanium ores, according to the Congressional Research Service.
On the flip side, the US exported goods valued at Sh84 billion last year, with aircraft, plastics, machinery and wheat among the biggest categories.
Pakistan, which imported Sh31.3 billion worth of goods, is the third biggest market for Kenyan goods after Uganda followed by the Netherlands (Sh29.7 billion) and the United Kingdom (Sh23.7 billion.)