The UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement, having been ratified by both parties, enters into force, marking an important step towards reaching an agreement with the whole East African Community.
UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Kenya, Theo Clarke and Cabinet Secretary for Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development, Betty Maina, today exchanged ratification documents at an official ceremony to mark the entry into force of the UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement.
The event was witnessed by UK High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott, Principal Secretary Johnson Weru among other officials from the UK and Kenya delegation.
The deal which was signed in London by International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena and Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Betty Maina in December 2020, will ensure that all companies operating in Kenya can continue to benefit from duty-free access to the UK market.
It will support jobs and economic development in Kenya, as well as avoid possible disruption to UK businesses who will be able to continue to import Kenyan products duty and quote free, such as fresh vegetables and flowers.
UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Kenya, Theo Clarke MP said:
“I’m delighted the Kenya-UK Economic Partnership Agreement is now legally in force –providing stability and certainty for UK and Kenyan businesses alike. The Agreement also guarantees permanent duty-free, quota-free access to UK markets for Kenya from day one, and gradually improved access for UK exports over time, whilst protecting sensitive goods.”
Jane Marriott, UK High Commissioner to Kenya, said:
“Today marks a historic day as the UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement enters into force. This ensures Kenyan exports are not hit by tariffs and provides a basis for our two countries to trade more, invest more and create more opportunities for both our citizens.”
The deal will benefit many of the approximately 2,500 UK businesses exporting goods to Kenya each year, including many UK suppliers of machinery, electronics and technical equipment, where continued tariff-free access will be guaranteed.
As one of the largest economies in East Africa, Kenya is an important trading partner for the UK. The UK market accounts for 43% of total exports of vegetables from Kenya as well as at least 9% of cut flowers, and this agreement will support Kenyans working in these sectors by maintaining tariff-free market access to the UK.
Top goods imports to the UK from Kenya last year were in tea, coffee and spices (KES 18 billion); vegetables (KES 11.7 billion); and cut flowers (KES 8 billion).
This deal recognises the importance of the wider region, and the agreement is open for other members of the East African Community to join.