The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Kenya and the United Kingdom kicked off yesterday.
“Kenyan exporters to the UK can now be assured that the Kenya-UK EPA is now operational. The ball is now in our court to position ourselves to maximize the market potential for Kenya’s exports,” said Trade and Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina.
The agreement allows Kenya access to the UK market on duty and quota-free terms while UK goods will in turn see gradual access of up to 25 years.
Kenya has also locked out part of its promising industries represented by about 17.4 per cent of its trade-in view of protecting the markets from the competition by UK goods.
Kenya is working towards scaling up its volume of trade with the UK from the current average of Kshs 40 billion per year to Kshs 2 trillion over the 25 years.
“Without this agreement, key exports from Kenya would immediately be much higher at the market place. This would be damaging when the country is competing with peers enjoying duty-free market access,” said Theo Clarke a UK MP.
Some of the exports to exports to the UK from Kenya include coffee, tea and flowers.
By Everlyne Bosibori