The UK and Kenya this week signed an economic partnership agreement which will ensure all companies operating in Kenya can continue to benefit from duty-free access to the UK market.
The deal is, in essence, a translation of the terms previously agreed between the EU and the East African Community and has scope for further EAC states to join in the future.
Worth £1.2 billion last year, the agreement seeks to support jobs and economic development in Kenya whilst also ensuring tariff-free access for key imports into the UK including tea, coffee and spices, vegetables and flowers – worth a combined £250 million alone.
The UK is a key market for Kenya, accounting for 43% of all vegetable exports and almost 10% of cut flowers, whilst 2,500 UK forms currently export goods into the Kenyan market, including machinery, electronics and technical equipment supplies.
Ranil Jayawardena, the UK’s international trade minister who signed the deal in London alongside counterpart Betty Maina, commented on the agreement that: “I am delighted that today we have signed a trade agreement with Kenya. This deal makes sure businesses have the certainty they need to continue trading as they do now, supporting jobs and livelihoods in both our countries.
“Today’s agreement is also a 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.”
Over the last two years, 55 new trade agreements have either been signed or agreed in principle as the UK continues the countdown to Brexit proper on January 1st.
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