Yesterday, we signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Kenya, marking a deepening of our relationship and a crucial step towards reaching a future regional deal with the whole East African Community (EAC).
Britain and Kenya already enjoy a strong trading relationship shaped by our shared principles of open, free and fair trade.
In the years ahead, Kenya and the wider African region will be key trading partners for the United Kingdom. Kenya is a well-diversified and growing economy – the largest in East and Central Africa – with average annual growth of 5.5% over the last decade. It is also a regional hub for finance and trade, with much of the region using the port of Mombasa.
With support from the United Kingdom, Kenya has climbed to 56 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) rankings 2019, up 80 spots in five years. Kenya also has a dynamic, innovative technology sector, with Nairobi dubbed the ‘Silicon Savannah’ thanks to its thriving start-ups.
Yesterday’s deal will benefit many of the 2,500 British businesses already exporting goods to Kenya each year, including many British suppliers of machinery, electronics and technical equipment, where continued tariff-free access will be guaranteed.
Through this trade agreement, the United Kingdom and Kenya have delivered long-term certainty, and preferential conditions, for our businesses, consumers and investors.
But our relationship goes far beyond just trade.
For decades, the United Kingdom has been a key development partner of Kenya, with wide ranging support across education, health and many other sectors.
This deal signals the start of a new trade relationship between us, and we will continue to work with Kenya through development cooperation to create good quality jobs, stimulate investment, and reduce the costs of trade.
The United Kingdom remains committed to strengthening our trading relationships with the other EAC states too, with whom Kenya is part of a Customs Union, and has ensured that this Agreement contains provisions to enable them to accede to it in future, should they wish.
The EPA will further help to promote sustainable growth and poverty reduction through increased trade and investment links and provides a platform for these trade ties to go from strength to strength in the years ahead.
This article was published on LinkedIn on 09/12/2020.