The Kenya-UK post-Brexit trade agreement has received approvals from lawmakers of both countries, ending months of anxiety between the business community in Kenya and the UK.
When the trade deal was signed
Kenya and the UK, on 3rd November 2020, penned a post-Brexit deal with the UK, creating way for a long-term treaty that will shield Kenyan exports from the high tariffs that would apply when UK leaves the EU.
Both countries reached a deal on the continuation of duty- and quota-free access of Kenyan exports after the UK finally exits the EU at the end of 2020.
Kenya exports flowers and fresh produce to the UK and has thus been keen to secure this market after Brexit.
Kenyan exports to the UK
Available figures indicate that in 2019 Kenya’s exports to the UK in 2019 were coffee, tea and spices, flowers and vegetables.
The UK market accounts for an estimated 43% of total exports of vegetables from Kenya and at least 9% of cut flowers.
A trade deal between the UK and Kenya will also guarantee continued market access for UK exporters, who sold £815m in goods and services to Kenya in 2019.
Kenya considered the largest economy in East Africa; it was crucial for London to hasten its deal with Nairobi before opening up the treaty to other EAC member states.
While the deal ratification is good news for Kenya, there is discomfort in the other EAC states.
There is stiff opposition within the region, with many claiming that Nairobi’s unilateral deal with London undermines the EAC’s customs union.
They also wanted more time to prepare for and undertake joint negotiations.
Kenya has also begun negotiating with the US for free trade deals, developments that are being keenly followed by investors in Kenya and the region.
British High Commissioner
In her tweet, British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott noted that the UK-Kenya trade agreement would bring significant benefits for Kenyan and British businesses, workers, and the economies.
“Pleased our Economic Partnership Agreement has passed through both the UK and Kenyan Parliament. We look forward to the exchange of ratification instruments soon.
This is a deal which brings significant benefits for Kenyan and British businesses, workers and our economies,” she tweeted.
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