As talks on a trade agreement with Kenya are concluded, the UK has moved a step closer to signing a sixth trade deal in Africa. The agreement will ensure that all companies operating in Kenya, including British companies, will continue to benefit from duty-free access when they export goods to their consumers back to the UK, including vegetables and flowers.
Coffee, tea and spices (£121 million), vegetables (£79 million) and live trees and plants, mainly flowers (£54 million), were the top imports of products to the UK from Kenya in 2019. The UK market accounts for 43% of Kenya’s total vegetable exports and at least 9% of cut flowers, and this agreement will help Kenyans working in these sectors by retaining access to the UK’s tariff-free market. It also ensures continued market access for UK exporters, who last year jointly sold £815 million in products and services to Kenya.
Kenya is a major trading partner for the UK as the largest economy in East Africa and among the top 10 across the continent. This agreement also recognises the importance of the broader region: when they are willing, other members of the East African Group trade block are able to join the agreement.
Ranil Jayawardena, Minister of International Trade, said I am pleased that we have reached a trade agreement with Kenya. This agreement offers companies the confidence that they will be able to continue to trade as they do now, promoting both our countries’ employment and livelihoods. I look forward to forging more trade relations with Kenya, the region’s largest economy, and working to agree on trade continuity with other East African countries, harnessing free and fair trade to ensure our people’s mutual prosperity.
James Duddridge, the Minister for Africa, said The United Kingdom is a champion of liberal free trade and believes in building strong and lasting partnerships in Africa. “Our policy offers mutual advantages and we have a proud record of doing business with honesty. This trade agreement will build on the historic links between the UK and Kenya and is the ideal springboard to improve our trade in the future.”