UK, Kenya secure a post-Brexit trade agreement

The UK and Kenya have made a step closer to signing a sixth trade deal in Africa after finalizing negotiations on a trade deal. The agreement arrived at today, will ensure all companies operating in Kenya, including British businesses, can continue to benefit from duty-free access as they export products including vegetables and flowers to their customers back in the United Kingdom. Kenya’s Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said the agreement will provide continuity for businesses, investors, and supply chains besides setting foundations for further economic development.

The agreement which will be formally signed shortly once it has been subject to checks is itself a translation of the terms previously agreed between the EU and the East African Community and includes clauses that allow other member states that will be interested to join in the future.

“Through the new trade agreement between Kenya and the United Kingdom, our farmers and suppliers are assured that there will be no disruptions when selling their products to the UK. They will be able to export more, both in value and volume,” Dr. Fred Matiangi CS Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government said during a presser.

According to 2019 reports, the top goods imports to the UK from Kenya were coffee, tea, and spices (£121 million), vegetables (£79 million), and live trees and plants, mostly flowers (£54 million). The UK market accounts for 43% of total exports of vegetables from Kenya as well as at least 9% of cut flowers, and this agreement will support Kenyans working in these sectors by maintaining tariff-free market access to the UK. It also guarantees continued market access for UK exporters, who together sold £815m in goods and services to Kenya last year.

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As the largest economy in East Africa and among the top 10 across the continent, Kenya is an important trading partner for the UK. This deal also recognizes the importance of the wider region – other members of the East African Community trade block are able to join the agreement when they are ready.

UK’s International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena said this deal gives certainty to business and provides a foundation to forge deeper trade ties between the two states in the years ahead.

“I’m delighted we’ve reached a trade agreement with Kenya. This deal gives businesses the certainty that they’ll be able to continue trading as they do now, supporting jobs and livelihoods in both our countries. I look forward to forging further trade ties with Kenya – the largest economy in the region – and working with other East African countries to agree on trade continuity, harnessing free and fair trade to secure shared prosperity for our peoples,” said Ranil Jayawardena.

On his side, the Minister for Africa James Duddridge said, “The UK is a champion of liberal free trade and believes in building strong, lasting partnerships in Africa. Our approach delivers mutual benefits and we have a proud record of doing business with integrity.” He added that the trade deal will build on the UK and Kenya’s historic ties and is the perfect springboard to increase their trading in the future. In under two years, the UK government has signed or agreed in principle trade agreements with 52 countries. Total UK trade with these countries was worth £146 billion in 2019.

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On 23 June 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union and officially left on 31st January this year ending its 47 years of membership. It has since been in a transition period and would need to beat the deadline of January 1, 2021, when the new rules for businesses and its citizens will begin to take effect.

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Enock Bett
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Enock Bett

Digital Media Enthusiast|Tech, Business, Corporate Affairs, Politics, and Governance. [No Modes] EMAIL: [email protected]

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