MINISTRY OF INDUSTRIALIZATION, TRADE AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
BY HON. BETTY MAINA, CBS, CABINET SECRETARY FOR INDUSTRIALIZATION, TRADE AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT ON THE KENYA – UNITED KINGDOM TRADE NEGOTIATIONS
In line with the ambition of the Strategic Partnership agreed by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson in January 2020, the United Kingdom and Kenya have agreed to negotiate an economic partnership agreement. This negotiation is based on the initialled text of the EU-EAC EPA and is open to all EAC partner states.
With the objectives of further deepening our economic and trade relationship and maintaining Kenya’s duty and quota free access to the United Kingdom, negotiations for a trade agreement are on track and progressing well. These negotiations are aimed at maintaining market access preferences for Kenya, the only non-LDC country in the EAC.
The United Kingdom and Kenya are both committed to securing a trade agreement that encompasses the whole of the East African Community, should other partner states wish to take such an agreement forward. In equal step, however, the United Kingdom and Kenya will not stand still and are working at pace to secure an agreement before the end of the United Kingdom’s transition period with the EU at the end of the year. Indeed, such an agreement would provide a transition mechanism for Kenya and enable other EAC partner states to join when they are ready to do so and negotiations with the EAC continue.
The trade agreement would replicate the intended effects of the initialled EACEU EPA text, and both sides are keen to make sure that this enters into effect for 1st January 2021. This will provide the strongest possible platform for the United Kingdom, Kenya and, ultimately, the whole EAC, to expand our trading, investment, tourism and historical relationships in the future.