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On Tuesday 21 March, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Investments and Industry, Moses Kuria, met UK Minister for International Trade Nigel Huddleston in London at the first-ever UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Council Meeting.
Both parties agreed to accelerate work to remove barriers affecting bilateral trade and investment, working with our respective public and private sectors, and discussed the good progress made on the £3.5 billion of green investment deals which UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President William Ruto agreed to fast track at COP27.
The Economic Partnership Council meets once every two years as part of the UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which came into force in March 2021.
The agreement ensures that all companies operating in Kenya, including British businesses, can continue to benefit from duty-free access to the UK market – saving exporters over KES 1.5 billion (£10 million) every year in duties on products such as green beans and cut flowers.
The agreement supports Kenya to grow its economy in a sustainable way, whilst providing UK businesses with increased trade opportunities. It secures jobs for Kenyans, whilst enhancing Kenya’s global competitiveness, trade capabilities, and ability to attract investment. The EPA has benefited approximately 2,500 UK businesses exporting goods to Kenya each year, providing frictionless trade. British companies in Kenya employ more than 250,000 Kenyans.
The UK is the first country outside of Africa to enter into a trade agreement with Kenya, the East African Community’s largest economy. UK-Kenya bilateral trade is already worth KES 167 billion (£1.1 billion) per annum, with capacity for significant growth.
The EPA supports the UK-Kenya Strategic partnership – an ambitious five-year agreement delivering mutual benefits for the UK and Kenya, including job creation and economic growth.
The agreement open to all Member States of the East African Community, one of the fastest growing regional economic blocs in the world.
As part of his visit to London, Cabinet Secretary Kuria will meet with UK Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch.
The meeting is part of a chain of UK-Kenya engagements that are deepening economic ties between the two countries. Since COP27 in December 2022, when President William Ruto and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak agreed to fast-track KES 500 billion of investment, construction has begun at Nairobi Railway City, and Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Transport, Kipchumba Murkomen visited London King’s Cross Station – a UK example for Nairobi Railway City.
In addition, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visited Kenya in 2022, announcing support for the African Development Fund (ADF) to help communities in Africa grow their economies, create jobs and improve healthcare.
UK High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott, said, “By meeting, as agreed, two years after the ratification of the EPA, the UK and Kenya are advancing our joint commitment to securing jobs for Kenyans and growing our economies – delivering mutual benefits for both our countries. The UK and Kenya go far when we go together.”